Anti social elements threw meat and animal carcasses on the path of the procession carrying ‘Thiruvabharanam’, the sacred jewellery to be adorned on the idol of Bhagawan Ayyappa Swami of Sabarimala temple during Makar Sankranti -Makaravilakku ceremony.
In a bid to defile the sacred procession, anti-social elements dumped meat and animal carcasses on the traditional route of the procession, Mandiram -Vadaserikkara road, yesterday. Hours before the procession reaches the spot, a group of devotees, led by Panchayat members, rushed there and washed the road. The incident has prompted widespread shock and outrage among the Hindus across the state.
An order had already been issued by the Panchayat Secretary, banning the sale of meat and fish along the road until the procession passes over. Decrying the order, several Islamist-Communist followers were seen protesting on various social media platforms. It is believed that the members of the same intolerant communal group dumped meat on the road.
The three-day ‘Thiruvabharanam’ procession, started from Valiya Koyikkal Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Pandalam on Monday, will reach Sabarimala on January 15. The procession began from the Pandalam temple after witnessing the ‘Sri Krishnaparunthu’ (Brahminy kite) on the sky above the temple at 1 pm.
‘Thiruvabharanam’ is the sacred gold ornaments of Bhagawan Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple. These ornaments were made at the orders of the Pandalam King, who adopted Ayyappan as his son. Three caskets are used for carrying Thiruvabharanam, pooja utensils, and special flags to Sabarimala. They are the Thiruvabharana Petti (sacred ornaments casket), the Velli Petti (silver vessel casket), and the Kodi Petti (flag casket). The Thiruvabharanam procession takes a traditional route to Sabarimala, covering a distance of 83 km on foot. The boxes are being carried on the head by 12 people. Traditional receptions are accorded to the procession at the major temples situated along the route to the Sabarimala.
Heavy security at Ayyappa Shrine
The Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala and its premises have been brought under a heavy security blank as arrangements are in full swing at the hill shrine for the auspicious Makaravilakku on Wednesday, the finale of the two-month-long annual pilgrim season.
In view of the continuing heavy rush, more personnel of police, NDRF and Rapid Response Force have been deployed in and around the shrine for crowd management and to ensure the safety of devotees, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), said in Sabarimala.
“The rush of devotees has increased considerably since Sunday. So, 200 more police personnel of various ranks have been deployed in and around the shrine exclusively for crowd management,” a TDB statement said. Over 1,400 police personnel including 15 DySPs and 36 Circle Inspectors are on duty at Sannidhanam, the temple complex, alone.
A 70-member bomb squad and a 20-member telecommunication wing were also on alert at the shrine complex, the release said. Police, NDRF, Rapid Response Team and the Fire Force personnel would jointly monitor and manage the devotees who climb down the holy hills in heavy numbers after the Makaravilakku darshan.