Kerala’s Sabarimala Ayyappa temple re-opened its doors on 12th February in order to carry-out the five-day of monthly pujas under massive security. It would remain open till 17th February during the month of Kumbham.
Following reports that women belonging to the age group of 10-50 will be showing up for darshan, a heavy blanket of security has been made. Police officers from Nilakkal base camp to Sannidhanam temple were stationed. Another reason behind the stationing of armed forces in and around the shrine has been taken considering likely protests from right wing activists, who strongly protest the entry of young women. Though the police broached levying prohibitory orders in the region, the district administration would be taking a decision regarding it only after evaluating the situation.
According to sources, the left government in Kerala had ordered the police to provide protection to women who appear for darshan, specifically since the Supreme Court at present is examining a batch of petitions soliciting scrutiny of a previous order of the SC repealing the years-old ban on entry of women who falls the 10-50 age group to the hill temple. The ban was enforced depending on the belief that the presiding deity is chaste.
Meantime, the tension that reigned at the Sabarimala shirne during the recent pilgrimage season because of demonstration against the entry of women was still causing anxiety among many pilgrims. A youth, who along with his daughter was on his way to the shrine, stated that fearing protests he was carrying his daughter’s Aadhar card.
Usually, the police hardly used to make any security preparations when the temple opens for monthly pujas as the number of pilgrims appearing becomes very low in comparison to the normal pilgrimage season, which is from November to January.