'Sabarimala Under Arrest': Amid tight security, prohibitory order and media ban, Sabarimala opens for Special Puja today
Police personnel at SabarimalaPanic and fear has gripped Hindus as the Police force, including more than 2300 cops, including armed police and women personnel, has taken 'Sabarimala into custody'
The police have tightened the security as the Sabarimala temple reopens today for special puja, 'Chithira Atta Vishesham'. It is second time the temple opens for Darshan after the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the temple.
'Tackling' the protesting devotees, the CPM government has deployed 2,300 personnel, including a 20-member commando and 100 women personnel in Sabarimala and surrounding areas, virtually taking Sabarimala into police custody. If necessary, more women officers will be added to the force as the CPM and the state government plan to bring more young women to the shrine. Prohibitory orders (144 CrPC) have also been issued for the base towns of Pamba, Nilakkal, Erumeli and Elavunkal.
The Sabarimala Karma Samiti that leading a staunch protest against the state government's unusual haste in implementing the court verdict, alleged that the even though the court has decided to hear review petitions and writ petitions on the issue on November 13, the state government is showing unnecessary haste to enforce the verdict using police force and subbing the mass movement of the devotees. "In such a situation, the devotees are left with no other choice but to continue with the peaceful protests," they said in a statement.
BJP state president Adv Sreedharan Pillai and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee Mullappally Ramachandran have strongly condemned the restrictions on media and alleged that the government is implementing fascist measures in the state. The police did not allow media persons to leave to leave the Pampa base camp, citing a 'ban on media' imposed by the CPM government.
Flaying the CPM government over the unprecedented , the BJP state president Adv PS Sreedharan Pillai said, “The government is trying to implement the 'party congress resolution' in Sabarimala under the pretext of the Supreme Court verdict,” said Pillai, while claiming the 20th party congress held here had assailed the party cadre over their failure to implement the resolution. “The party is now trying to implement the resolution and destroy Sabarimala. CPM is concerned over its cadre following religious practices and beliefs.” He said that the party will stand with people and fight oppression by the state through peaceful means.
Speaking to ANI, General Secretary of BJP Kerala unit, K. Surendran said, "Why is the government doing this? This is an emergency like situation. This is undemocratic and against rule of law."
“The situation in Sabarimala is serious; anything could happen there. The issue needs serious handling, but the government failed in that matter. By deploying thousands of police officers, the government is challenging to suppress the devotees,” the KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said.
Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behra has dismissed the reports that media was being restrained from going to Sabarimala. But yesterday and in the wee hours of today morning, the police have stopped media persons at the base camp Pampa. Interestingly, no media organisation, except Janam TV and Janmabhumi, dared the police and defied the ban. All other media houses chose to withdraw their representatives from the scene.
The police are blocking pilgrims at base camps from yesterday. Devotees protested against the police and blocked traffic at several places for not allowing them to leave for Pampa. They have been waiting at Erumeli and surrounding places since Sunday. As per reports, they will be allowed to scale the Sabarimala hills by afternoon. So far, 3,731 devotees have been arrested and 545 cases registered in connection with the last month's protests.