Sabarimala: Security tightened, Sec 144 imposed ahead of temple opening

Pathanamthitta: In an attempt to avoid violence and unrest in Sabarimala temple, which is slated to open for a special religious ceremony on November 5, the state administration has deployed scores of police personnel in Pamba and surrounding areas.

Speaking to ANI, Inspector General Ashok Yadav said that around 1500 police personnel have been deployed from Pamba to Sannidhanam.

Furthermore, the Pathanamthitta district administration has imposed Section 144 in Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilakkal, and Elavunkal till November 6.

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits any assembly of five or more people in an area where it has been imposed. Every member of such “unlawful assembly” can be booked for “engaging in rioting”, the maximum punishment for which is three years.

As a precautionary measure and to avoid any untoward situation, the state security forces have also issued movement orders restricting devotees and media persons from travelling beyond a certain point. The route will be fully open for all on November 5.

The Sabarimala Temple and surrounding areas witnessed a string of protests in October over the apex court’s decision to quash restrictions on the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into the holy shrine.

More than 3000 protesters have been arrested so far for instigating the violence that broke out in the state, while around 529 cases have been registered across the state.

As per reports, the Kerala High Court has also directed the state government to report on police action after the violent protests erupted at Sabarimala in October.