Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought cooperation from everyone to ensure that the two-month-long pilgrimage season at the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, which began on Friday, passes off peacefully.
The government's aim is to uphold the esteem of the Sabarimala temple, he said.
"Any untoward incident would only mar the shrine's reputation and the media must exercise caution and not publish "misinformation that cause disturbances," Pinarayi said in a Facebook post.
"Some are also using social media networks to propagate misinformation with an intent to disturb peace. Such activities must be monitored and reported to authorities," he said.
Referring to the massive protests by devotees when the temple was opened for monthly pujas in October and early this month, the chief minister said certain incidents which should never have occurred did take place at the shrine.
Sabarimala cannot be allowed to be transformed into a place of rioting and protest, he said, adding some may be keen to create tension in the hill shrine and people of Kerala should not fall into their trap.
All devotees must cooperate with the security arrangements at Sabarimala which have been made to ensure a peaceful and safe pilgrimage, he said.
"We have together survived one of the greatest floods in Kerala's history. We were able to overcome it because we surrendered our differences for the greater common good and we need to emulate that unity at this juncture also.
Be it people of faith or people of no faith, all should be able to live according to their preferences. This mutual respect must be the bedrock of our secular existence," Pinarayi said.
At the same time, the government is committed to protecting the values enshrined in the Constitution, he added.