Sabarimala temple to open Saturday; Kerala cops on high alert

According to State Police Chief Loknath Behera, the police will wait and watch whether there will be any women entering the hill shrine beyond Pampa.

Published: 16th November 2019 01:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2019 02:28 PM   |  A+A-

Sabarimala Pilgrims at Nilakkal base camp on Saturday before proceeding to Pamba to trek Sabarimala for offering prayers when the temple opens. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state police was on high alert with the two-month-long Sabarimala Mandala-Makaravilakku season beginning on Sunday.

Though the police deployment is not as huge as in last year, three SPs have been entrusted to lead security at Nilakkal, Pampa and Sannidhanam respectively.

The police will also monitor separately whether 36 women who booked through Virtual Queue Online booking system are entering into the hill shrine.

According to State Police Chief Loknath Behera, the police will wait and watch whether there will be any women entering the hill shrine beyond Pampa.

"The police will ensure peace and maintain order this time. Unlike last year, we will scale down the police deployment even though there are restrictions. We will also seek legal advice from advocate general for initiating security arrangements", Behera told media persons here on Saturday.

ALSO READ | Will visit Sabarimala after November 20 whether provided protection or not: Activist Trupti Desai

At present, the state police have decided to deploy 10,017 officers in and around Sabarimala for this festive season. The deployment has been done over five phases which began from Friday.

Additional Director General of Police, Shaik Darvesh Saheb has been appointed as the Chief Coordinator - law and order.

The deployment has included 24 officers in Superintendent of Police (SP) and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) ranks. 112 Deputy Superintendents (DySP), 264 Circle Inspectors (CI) and 1,185 Sub Inspector/ Assistant Sub Inspector ranked officers.

There will be heavy deployment of 8402 civil police officers which included 307 female officers.

An additional women workforce of 30 officers in CI, SI ranks will also be deployment during this festival season.

The first phase from Friday to November 30 will see 2,551 officers at Sannidhanam (Temple shrine), Pamba, Nilakkal and Erumeli.  

The second phase of deployment from November 30 to December 14 will see 2,539 officers on-duty followed by 2992 and 3077 officers for the 3rd and 4th phases respectively.

An additional 1,560 officers have also been deployed in Sannidhanam, Nilakkal and Pamba from the State Special Branch.

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