Kerala MPs held a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament, demanding security for Sabarimala pilgrims. The protesting MPs demanded basic facilities, safety and security for pilgrims at Sabarimala.
NK Premachandran, a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), said, “Sabarimala is one of the prominent pilgrimage sites in the country, with lakhs of pilgrims visiting the shrine every year. Hence, it is unfortunate that no arrangement has been made by the State Government to provide necessary facilities for devotees. The pilgrims are forced to wait 18 hours for a darshan (sighting of the deity). No medical facilities, drinking water, and transport facilities are available. Sufficient police protection is also not available for the security and safety of the pilgrims.”
He added that a girl, aged 8 years, died standing in the queue and yet, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government took no proactive step for the protection of pilgrims.
“Only 600 police personnel have been deployed there. We are demanding that sufficient protection be provided to the pilgrims. We demand an urgent intervention by the National Disaster Management Authority. We are also planning to stage a dharna in the House (Assembly) today. We have all given an adjournment notice for the same,” he added.
Abdul Basheer from IUML said that the protest was in the interest of the pilgrims’ safety.
“Sabarimala is the biggest centre of pilgrimage in South India. However, the Government is not taking any steps to ensure the safety of pilgrims visiting the shrine. We have made several requests (to the Government to ensure the safety of devotees). We even want to bring it to the notice of the public. The Government should take immediate steps to ensure the safety of Sabarimala pilgrims,” he added.
(with inputs from ANI)