Sabarimala Under Siege: Section 144 Clamped As Temple Set To Reopen On 5 November Members of Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam (SASS) take part in a protest against Supreme Court verdict (Biplov Bhuyan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

As the Sabarimala temple is set to reopen for a special prayer on November 5, Pathanamthitta district collector has decided to impose prohibitory orders (Section 144) at Elavungal, Pampa, Nilakkal and Sannidhanam from Saturday night (3 November) to Tuesday night (6 November).

The police have also declared Pampa, Nilakkal and Sannidhanam as special security zones and they will be managed by special teams led by senior police officers.

To ensure that the entire stretch between Vadasserikara and Sannidhanam remains free of protesters, a huge contingent of police will be deployed and restrictions placed on the movement of pilgrims from Nilakkal to Sannidhanam.

The Sabarimala Temple and surrounding areas witnessed massive protests last month over the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into the holy shrine.

In a crackdown that received widespread condemnation, 3505 devotees have been arrested so far for participating in the protests while around 529 cases have been registered across the state.

According to reports, the Kerala High Court had expressed reservations about the alleged police atrocities against the devotees, inquiring the state government about action taken against the erring officials after the violent protests erupted at Sabarimala in October.

The Court has directed the government to produce the video footage of the incident that happened at Nilakkal when the Sabarimala temple was opened for poojas on October 17.

Also read: Kerala HC Slams Police Excesses Against Sabarimala Devotees, Demands Rogue Officers’ Identification Via Videos

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