Amid tight security Sabarimala reopens today, section 144 imposed
Kerala: Security has been beefed up in Sabarimala temple to avoid any protest or clash between devotees and protestant groups.
It is to be reopened for conducting "Sree Chitira Atta Thirunal" special puja in the memory of Travancore's last king, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma's birth anniversary. The temple gates will be opened from 5pm till 10pm.
The shire will open its gate for the second time after Supreme Court's verdict allowing women of all ages to enter temple dedicated to celibate God Lord Ayyappa. Earlier, women between age 10-50 were not allowed to enter temple premises.
Around 2,300 personnels, including 20-member commando team and 100 women have been deployed to temple shrine to ensure security of devotees.
Last month many protestants didn't let any woman devotee enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Around a dozen female activists and journalists were send back from the shrine.
The temple doors will be jointly open by Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru and chief priest Unnikrishnan Namboodiri, they will also light the lamp at the 'Sreekovil' (sanctum sanctorum).
District magistrate of Pathanamthitta, PB Nooh, has imposed Section 144 in the 20-km Sabarimala route stretching from Nilakkal to Pampa and Sannidhanam from Saturday midnight.
"We will allow only devotees to the temple from November 5 noon onwards. We are checking all movements on the temple route as a precaution," T Narayanan, police chief of Pathanamthitta district told media.
Around 3,731 people have been arrested and 545 cases were registered in connection with last month's violence, which took place in the name of securing the sanctity of the shrine.