Sabarimala: BJP says heavy police deployment creating 'emergency-like' situation

Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India Updated: Nov 04, 2018, 04:52 PM(IST)

File photo: Devotees pay obeisance at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala. Photograph:( PTI )

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The party has further said that the excessive police deployment at Sabarimala temple is 'undemocratic and against rule of law'.

The heavy deployment of security and prohibitory orders ahead of the opening of Sabarimala temple has irked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who has said that an "emergency-like" situation is being created in the holy site.

The party has further said that the excessive police deployment at Sabarimala temple is "undemocratic and against rule of law".

Speaking to ANI, General Secretary of BJP Kerala unit, K. Surendran said, "Why is the government doing this? This is an emergency like situation. This is undemocratic and against rule of law."

He further asked the logic behind deploying large number of police personnel in the area and imposing Section 144 in areas surrounding Sabarimala Temple. He also claimed that a peaceful atmosphere is already prevailing in the temple, thus negating the need for additional deployment of forces.

Surendran said that the Ayyappaa devotees will be protesting peacefully, like last month.

"What we (BJP) did last time, we will repeat this time also. The BJP won't allow anyone to destroy the sanctity of Sabarimala," he stated.

On being asked if the police would stop them from going towards the holy temple, Surendran said, "They (police) can't stop us, as we will go like a devotee, with irumudikettu (a bag for keeping the puja articles and other offerings made to the deities at Sabarimala) on our heads."

Taking a cue from the violence last month, the Kerala police has deployed over 1500 personnel in Pamba and Sannidhanam.

"Around 1500 police personnel have been deployed from Pamba to Sannidhanam," Inspector General Ashok Yadav said.

The police have issued the prohibitory orders at Pamba and Nilakkal, and other areas near the shrine and are maintaining vigil on vehicles going towards it.

The Sabarimala temple will open on Monday for devotees for two days. The BJP is also taking out a 'Sabarimala protection rath yatra' from Kasaragod to Sabarimala on November 8 aimed to save Sannidhanam's Sanctity.

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.

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