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Sabarimala: Kerala government planning fortification through massive police force

The Kerala police may then use their force to allow women and activists to enter the Sabarimala shrine resulting in violating the age-old customs associated with the temple.

Despite facing a severe backlash from across the country for its failed attempts to interfere in the religious customs of the Hindus, the Kerala government has yet again decided to play with fire by bringing such rules and regulations which would lead in the fortification of the Sabarimala temple.

As per reports, the Kerala government has been working on a plan to fortify the areas around the Sabarimala with a massive police force to take control of the entry and exit of the devotees. The Kerala police may then use their force to allow women and activists to enter the Sabarimala shrine resulting in violating the age-old customs associated with the temple.

The Kerala police have plans to turn Sabarimala into a high-security zone and has reportedly asked the Kerala government to make online reservation mandatory for pilgrims to enter the shrine. It seems that these new rules are being introduced to stop common devotees to peacefully protest against the controversial Supreme Court judgement which permits entry of women of all ages into the shrine. It has also resulted in devotees fearing against a deliberate ploy by the Pinarayi Vijayan government to allow women and non-Hindu activists to enter and desecrate the Sabarimala shrine.

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The plan indicates that Kerala police will install various security checkpoints from Nilackal base camp, 26 km downhill from Sabarimala to the Sannidhanam. The devotees who have booked in advance will be given high priority. Those devotees without any reservations should wait till the police conduct their background verification. The devotees are permitted only after they receive a security clearance and will also undergo severe security checks at various points uphill till the sanctum.

The police said they would allow group reservation to help spread out devotees through the puja hours. They have also instructed that pilgrims cannot spend more than 16 hours at Sabarimala and asked temple authorities not to rent out rooms to pilgrims for more than a day.

However, the Kerala Police is of the view that the necessary security checkpoints are being placed to keep the law and order in check and also to protect women devotees from facing any disturbance during their journey to the temple.

“Online facility will be introduced in Sabarimala just like all other temples in South India. The number of people allowed to Sabarimala per day will be controlled. Other people can rest in the base camp. If anyone thinks that they can create conflicts in Sabarimala by staying there, it is not going to happen”, said Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Kerala government has now tried several times by using its state power to attack the devotees but failed in its attempts to interfere in Hindu customs and traditions. The Communist government of Kerala which by ideology has little regard for religious beliefs and faith is using strong-arm tactics to silence devotees who are trying to protect their tradition. Earlier, Pinarayi Vijayan government had desperately tried to push entry of women on the last day before the sacred temple closes for the month.

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