Nilakkal: Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, KJ Alphons, who is currently on his way to the Sabarimala Temple, on Monday, said that the situation at the hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa is worse than an emergency situation.
“A situation worse than emergency is happening here, the devotees are not allowed to go up. Section 144 is imposed for no reason,” Alphons told ANI.
“Devotees are not terrorists, why do they need 15000 policemen here?,” he added.
The Sabarimala Temple reopened on Friday for a 62-day long Mandala Pooja-Magaravilaku annual pilgrimage season.
A string of protests was witnessed in Kerala in October when the temple opened for the first time after the Supreme Court passed the order, allowing females of all age group to enter into the shrine. Earlier, the entry of female aged between 10 and 50 years was prohibited into the shrine.
This is the third time that the temple has opened after the Apex Court lifted restrictions on women entry. So far 3,505 protestors have been arrested and around 529 cases were registered in connection with a series of incidents of violence that erupted in the state over the entry of women into the Lord Ayyappa temple.