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Kerala – Government negligence on Sabarimala pilgrims

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Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Sabarimala pilgrims are facing distress as concerns rise over the adequacy of security measures and support services. With approximately 80,000 pilgrims visiting Sabarimala daily, concerns have been raised about the inadequacy of police personnel available for crowd control. Only 1,850 police personnel are designated for crowd control, with 615 on duty during an eight-hour shift. This has led to challenges in crowd management, particularly in Pamba, where the absence of experienced officers has affected arrangements.

Comparing the security measures for the ongoing Nava Kerala Sadas, allegations have surfaced, suggesting negligence by the government in deploying adequate security personnel at Sabarimala. While 2,250 police were allocated for security at the Nava Kerala Sadas in Idukki and 2,200 personnel were present for the Chief Minister’s security in Ernakulam, the number of officers at Sabarimala seems significantly lower.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has faced criticism from pilgrims for insufficient services at Pamba and Nilakkal, prompting late-night protests by the pilgrims. The High Court has voluntarily registered a case on rush at Sabarimala.

The Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) in charge of Sannidhanam will present a report to the High Court outlining measures taken by the police to manage the crowd. The government has assured the Court that it will provide video footage showcasing the efforts undertaken to control the rush. The Court has directed the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Pathanamthitta to investigate issues at the Nilakkal parking ground and submit a detailed report.

High Court orders arrangement of convenient darshan for the Sabarimala pilgrims

In the wake of increasing traffic in Sabarimala, the Kerala High Court has come up with guidelines to eliminate the distress faced by the pilgrims during this Mandalam season. The High Court directed that proper facilities including food should be arranged for the devotees in Elavunkal and that the devotees should be able to perform the rituals and Darshan conveniently. The High Court pointed out that the devotees did not have to wait so long for Darshan last year.

The High Court said that cleanliness should be ensured at the rest areas and the queue complex. It also directed that toilet systems should also be arranged as necessary, in case of increased traffic in the rest areas. The lawyer who went to Sabarimala informed the court that no facilities have been provided including in the Queue complex. He informed that thousands of devotees are visiting Sabarimala daily without booking, and there is no drinking water and medical facility in Sabarimala.

With Inputs from JanamTV

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