Amid heightened security, the doors of the Sabarimala temple opened for the public Monday for two days for the “Chitira Atta Thirunal” puja, marking the birthday of the last king of the princely state of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma. The temple will close Tuesday at 10 pm after the ritual.
The temple was reopened for the second time yesterday since the Supreme Court lifted the age restriction on women entering the hill shrine. The violent protests last month had forced the police to impose prohibitory orders in Pamba, Nilakkal, Erumeli and Elavunkal, located at the base of the hill. Scores of protesters were present on Monday as well to bar women from entering the temple.
On Monday, only one woman, a 26-year-old, was seen trying to enter the temple. However, she later told the police at the base camp at Pamba that she was not keen on continuing the trek. Meanwhile, BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai sparked controversy after an audio tape emerged of him telling a gathering that the violent protests in October were “almost planned” by the party.
Around 2,300 personnel, including a 20-member commando team and 100 women personnel, are deployed to ensure the security of devotees.