The Central Intelligence Agency in the light of an incident of the flying of the private helicopter over the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple have initiated an enquiry into the matter. The investigators are probing the angle of possible sabotage. The chopper had reportedly violated the regulations by winging over the sanctum sanctorum. Kummanam Rajasekhran, senior BJP leader and former Governor of Mizoram and the temple management committee member, told that the incident is serious and a thorough investigation is necessary. He said, ‘the chopper flew, five times around 7pm, over the temple in the night of July 28, 2023; it is reported that the chopper belonged to Chipson Aviations. It reportedly spent an hour in the sky and circled over the temple more than five times.
Police rule out security lapse
Police assume, there was no security lapse. They say, aviation authorities informed that the chopper took the direction suggested by the Thiruvananthapuram Airport Air Traffic Control. According to police, they were test flights of ex-servicemen who intend to join private airlines.
Rules of air traffic for Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple
It is to be noted that air traffic over the Padmanabha Swamy Temple is prohibited after 5pm hence this violation of the rule remains a mystery. But, it is a pity that nearly a week is over, still state government nor the police do have any clue of what happened. Kummanam Rajasekharan said that flying the chopper above the top security temple, sans the permission of the temple authorities or security agencies, is a lapse. It is the blatant violation of the existing security rules formulated due to security threats. Devotees are worried and disturbed in this regard, Kummanam added.
Know all about Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple’s security arrangement
Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, standing in the heart of the state capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, is having the most precious temple treasure. Reports says, it is Rs 120,000 cr worth. It includes gold, idols, previous stones, and so on. Second most precious treasure is said to be of Thiruppathi Venkateshwara temple having Rs 650 cr worth. Next comes Vaishno Devi temple, Jammu with Rs 500 cr. Shirdi Sai Baba temple, Nashik with Rs 320 cr.
Obviously these temples enjoy tight security. Padmanabha Swamy temple got five-tier security provided by the state government in 2011 during the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) regime presided by CM Oommen Chandy. It was approved by a high level meeting which took into account all possible dangers including theft, sabotage and natural disasters. The panel consisted of experts from ISRO, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies (CESS) and top brass of Kerala Police.
The security system was about Rs 41 cr worth. It had advanced components like satellite surveillance and seismographic-linked alarm system. It is also having metal detectors, X-ray scanners and hidden cameras at various points of the temple premises which spread around seven acres. Chambers having the treasures have most sophisticated locks. They are reinforced with steel bars and impact-resistant glass. More than a decade back, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court found that there are six vaults underground. Five of them were opened for recording the inventory list. But, the Vault B, the sixth one was not opened. C.V. Aanda Bose IAS, the then National Museum Director (present Honourable Governor of West Bengal) was assigned to take lead roles in the aforementioned job. Police personnel and commandos are deployed on top.