Kerala, November 5: Devotees have started to gather at Nilakkal base camp as Sabarimala Temple is set to open today at 5 pm for a special puja. According to an ANI update, Nilakkal base camp in-charge Manjunath H said, "There is adequate police deployment here. We are not restricting the movement of devotees." Keeping a note of the violent protests that took place last month, the administration has made elaborate security arrangements near the temple and also around the base camps this time. History of Sabarimala: Why Women Weren't Allowed Into The Lord Ayyappa Shrine.
Reportedly, 2,300 personnel including a 20-member commando team and 100 women have been deployed to ensure the security and safety of devotees. If required, more police force will be deployed at the temple complex. This is the second time, the temple will reopen after the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgment to allow women devotees across age groups to enter the temple premises.
#Kerala: Devotees begin to gather at Nilakkal base camp as #SabarimalaTemple is set to open today. Nilakkal base camp in-charge Manjunath H says, "There is adequate police deployment here. We are not restricting the movement of devotees." pic.twitter.com/OzJDGABRfU
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2018
The temple had witnessed high drama last month following frenzied protests leading to around a dozen women in the age group of 10-50 being prevented from reaching it and police and the agitators fighting a pitched battle over the LDF government's decision to implement the court order.
At least 12 women had made a vain attempt to reach the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, a celibate, after the Supreme Court permitted women in the 10-50 age group to offer prayers there. So far, 3,731 people have been arrested and 545 cases registered in connection with last month's violence.
(With additional inputs from PTI)