Police heap abuses on Ayyappas

published on December 9, 2007

Heavy crush of devotees at Sabarimala, 50 injured

Pioneer News Service | Sannnidhanam

Heavy rush on Saturday resulted in injuries to around fifty Ayyappa devotees in Sabarimala temple. With Saturday being considered as the day of the lord and with second Saturday and Sunday being holidays, the heavy rush continued unabated throughout the day.

Among the injured, one was considered to be serious. The Aravana issue has not been settled as yet and this is turning into a major problem for the Dewaswom board and a total embarrassment to the LDF Government.

The hill shrine which opens on the first day of the month of Vrischika is closed only after the Malikappuram festival in Sabarimala after the Makara Vilakku celebrations.

The Ayyapa devotees who throng the temple in large numbers are of the opinion that if there is heavy rush and the total shortage of Aravana during the early days of December then what will the situation be once the schools are closed and the vacation starts with devotees pouring into the temple.

The devotees are blaming the Travancore Dewaswom Board officials for the shortage of Aravana and the presence of ill-behaved policemen near the Aravana counter has also aggravated the situation. The pilgrims have complained that several policemen had removed their name and number plates and were using force on the devotees and there are even allegations that some of these policemen one duty are non-believers or from other religions .

Santhosh Babu a pilgrim who had come all the way from Delhi, where he is working for the past several years, told The Pioneer “It was a horrifying experience , it seems that the policemen are bent on destroying the culture and harmony at the temple. The pilgrims who are coming to the temple for a glimpse of the lord are showered with abuses by some policemen who are not displaying either their identification numbers or their name plates. Generally the pilgrims are given a warm reception by the police and it seems that the ascendancy of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan as the Home Minister would have given some added courage to the policemen, the Minister being a self claimed non-believer.”

With the rush increasing and the administration totally helpless and the policemen behaving like rogues and the Government in a helpless situation, the pilgrims are calling the name of the lord to come and help them, who else is the solace for a pilgrim.

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