Sabarimala (Kerala), Jan 11:
About 10,000 policemen have been posted at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple ahead of ‘Makare Villeku’ Wednesday.
State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala was here to oversee the security arrangements. “All arrangements are in place and there will be nothing left to chance,” Chennithala said Sunday.
‘Makare Villeku’ or witnessing the celestial light that appears on the horizon and the sighting of the auspicious celestial light is the most important event of the two-month pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.
The temple is located in the Western Ghat ranges, four km uphill from Pampa base camp in Pathanamthitta district, around 170 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
There has been a huge influx of pilgrims and Kerala Police are keeping in the mind the 2011 stampede here which left 106 pilgrims dead. They are ensuring all safety and security measures to avoid any such accident.
Chennithala discussed the security issues with senior police officials who have been posted at the temple and sensitive locations here.
The stampede occurred at Pullumedu, which is away from the temple. This is the place where a huge crowd gathers, second to the hillock where the temple is located.
On the first day of the Malayalam calendar in January (this season it falls Wednesday), the celestial light appears thrice on the horizon soon after the sunset. Pilgrims after witnessing the light, shout with joy, “Swamia Ayyappa”.