The Pathanamthitta district collector in Kerala has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in Shabarimala and nearby areas ahead of the Chithira Avittom Pooja. The hill shrine in Shabarimala will be open for devotees on November 5 and 6. Prohibitory orders will be in place from Saturday midnight till Tuesday midnight.
District collector PB Nooh said, “Section 144 has been imposed to maintain law order in Shabarimala and nearby areas. However, this will not affect normal pilgrimage. It’s only that unlawful assembly by non-devotees will not be allowed. Prohibitory orders will come into effect from Saturday midnight at Nilakkal, Elavungal, Pamba and Sannidhanam.”
In the wake of violent protest during the last monthly pooja, the state police have also decided to increase deployment of forces in Shabarimala region.
A top cop in charge of the deployment told India Today TV that a total of 1,200 police personnel will be deployed in Shabarimala, Pamba, Nilakkal and Elavungal. “Devotees and media will be allowed to visit Shabarimala (trekking from Pamba) only on Monday morning. The Supreme Court verdict is very clear and we are bound to implement it.”
On the other hand state police continues to crackdown on protesters in Pamba and Nilakkal. According to the latest information, 3,701 people have been arrested in 543 cases by the police.
When the temple was opened for devotees, at least five women tried to visit the main shrine. However, owing to massive protests at the temple and the police’s inability to provide adequate security, the women could not enter the shrine.>