The Kerala police may have to review the security cordon at the Sabarimala shrine as it briefly crumbled earlier this week before the collective strength of Sangh Parivar activists.
On the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday and into Tuesday night, the writ of the activists ran at the shrine for hours. The police requested the assistance of a well-known RSS leader who pacified the crowd near the sanctum. The crowd was agitated over the presence of women pilgrims, who it thought were of the restricted 10-50 year age group. The Parivar activists have been demanding that the shrine retain its traditions and continue with the restriction.
A 1,300-strong police force headed by Ajay Yadav, Additional Director General of Police, and Superintendents of Police Rahul R Nair and Sanjaykumar Gurudin was present to control the crowd. Order was restored after the police convinced the crowd that the women were above 50 years of age. The brief collapse in security may force police to review its level of preparedness.
Major developments are scheduled to take place over the next few days. The five-day ‘rath yatra’ by the BJP-NDA from Kasaragode to Pathanamthitta, will begin on Wednesday and end on November 13, the day on which the Supreme Court will examine a batch of review petitions against its order of September 27.
On November 17, the shrine will reopen for the annual Mandala Puja-Makaravilakku festival which will last until late December.
The deployment of police and security apparatus around the shrine needs to be shored up for this extended period, said observers.