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Sabarimala temple opening highlights: Protests resume after mother of two seeks to trek to hilltop shrine

Sabarimala temple opening day: Heavy police deployment have been made in and around the shrine complex and base camps to check unwanted incidents as the temple opens today for five hours for a special pooja. Check live updates here.

By HT Correspondent | Nov 05, 2018 21:03 IST

Police have virtually taken over the hill shrine complex of Sabarimala and the base camps, with more than 2,300 personnel deployed to check unwanted incidents as the temple is scheduled to open for five hours today for a special pooja.

In another development, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti, a joint platform of right wing outfits, which is opposing the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into the temple following a Supreme Court order, urged media groups on Sunday not to depute women journalists to cover the event.

Here are the highlights:

6:51pm IST

Devotees stage protest, block trekking path

Devotees stage sit-in protest, blocking the trekking path. They are also singing hymns, defying the prohibitory orders, led by Hindu Aikya Vedi leader Sasikala, at Pamba ganapati temple.

6:41pm IST

Woman approaches police seeking to trek to the hilltop shrine

A woman approaches police in Pamba base camp seeking to trek to the hilltop. Police are verifying her credentials. Anju, a native of Cherthala, came with her husband and two children

6:00pm IST

Made adequate security arrangements for facilitating ‘darshan’ : IG Ajith Kumar

We’ve made adequate security arrangements for facilitating ‘darshan’ of all devotees. We have various threats in this area, taking into consideration various threat perceptions, we’ve provided security arrangements for everyone: IG Ajith Kumar, security in-charge of Sabarimala.

5:23pm IST

Devotees complain of non-availability of basic amenities

Some devotees complained that even the basic amenities were not in place

5:08pm IST

Winding queue of devotees outside Sabarimala shrine

At least 5000 devotees were present when the gates of Sabarimala reopened for a special pooja. The devotees are being allowed inside the temple in small batches as section 144 has been imposed. The Ayyappa devotees will not be allowed to stay in the temple during night as a means of precaution.

5:00pm IST

Temple to remain open till Tuesday night

Sabarimala temple, which was reopened by Tantri in presence of others, on Monday will remain open till Tuesday night. The temple will remain open till 10 pm on Monday night.

4.59pm IST

Sabarimala shrine opens

Sabarimala temple reopened amid high security, for five hours for a special pooja amid high security.

3:55pm IST

BJP creating trouble: Vijayan

The odious politics and perfidious ways of BJP stand exposed. Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the state connived to create trouble in Sabarimala. It must be noted that their state president himself was involved in the ruse. This is highly condemnable: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tweets.

2:10pm IST

Jammers near temple

Kerala Police instal mobile jammers near Sabarimala temple to prevent tantri and other shrine officials from interacting with the media and to dissuade live visuals.

2:00pm IST

Devotees, media should not be blocked: Kerala high court

Kerala high court says that devotees and media at Sabarimala temple should not be blocked. It said that the government should not interfere in the temple’s daily activities and a departmental level inquiry must be conducted on policemen who had damaged vehicles, reports ANI.

11:00pm IST

Pilgrims block roads

Pilgrims block roads in Erumeli saying state transport authority was deliberately delaying buses to the base camps. They block roads chanting hymns ‘Ayyappa Saranam’.

10:40pm IST

Devotees protest

Many devotees seen protesting, shouting slogans as police stopped them for checking en route to Sabarimala. Private vehicles carrying pilgrims were stopped.

10:30am IST

BJP protest

Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai will go to the hilltop at 11am. He is likely to be arrested. Base camps and hilltop peaceful so far.

10:25am IST

Women cops above 50 deployed

Women cops deployed at hilltop. But all are above 50 years, police officials said. Many pilgrims stranded as police make restrictions on vehicular movement.

9:40am IST

Heavy police deployment

A large number of police personnel have been deployed at Nilakkal base camp where violence broke out following the Supreme Court order allowing girls and women of menstrual age to visit the Sabarimala temple.

9:35am IST

Devotees begin trek

Devotees begin trek from Nilakkal base camp to Sabarimala temple.

9:30am IST

Devotees begin to gather

Devotees begin to gather at Nilakkal base camp. Police say they are not restricting movement of devotees.