Thiruvananthapuram: With just days left for the commencement of the two-month-long pilgrimage season at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, police have begun preparations to ensure that there are no untoward incidents.
Over 10,000 police personnel will be posted in phases in and around the temple before the pilgrimage starts on November 17.
During the Mandala Makkarvillakku festival, 10,017 police personnel will be posted around the temple complex in five phases, a police press release said.
DGP Loknath Behara said there will be stringent security in and around Sabarimala during the pilgrimage season this year. The release said 24 Superintendents of Police and Assistant SPs, 112 DySPs, 264 inspectors, 1185 Sub-Inspectors will be posted in the team. A total of 8402 civil police officers, including 307 women, will also be on duty around the shrine complex, the release added.
ADGP Dr Sheikh Darvesh Sahib has been appointed as the chief coordinator of security arrangements. Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner Ajit Kumar and Southern IG Balram Kumar Upadhyay have been appointed as Joint Chief Coordinators. DIG Corey Sanjay Kumar Gurudin, Ernakulam Range DIG S Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar, Armed Police Battalion DIG P Prakash are also part of the team.
In the first phase from November 15-30, 2,551 police personnel will be posted for security duty at Sannidhanam, Pamba, Nilackal, Erumeli and Pathanamthitta.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had last week taken stock of the preparations being carried out by various departments and the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, to ensure hassle-free pilgrimage.
The hill shrine had witnessed protests by right-wing outfits against the LDF government's decision to implement the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups, including those in the menstruating age, to offer prayers at the ancient temple.