Observing that there was a gross violation of human rights of Sabarimala devotees, the Kerala Human Rights Commisison (KHRC) Sunday directed the TDB, DGP and Local Self Government Department to ensure that basic facilities were provided to pilgrims at the temple complex. Acting on a complaint, the commission said there was a gross human rights violation at Sabarimala Sannidhanam, Nilackal, and Pamba.
Referring to media reports, the commission said police officials on duty at the shrine have also been denied basic facilities. The officials of local panchayat at Chengannur, Nilackal and Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) are turning a “blind eye” to these “naked violations” of human rights, KHRC added. Taking a strong view of the lack of facilities for devotees at the shrine, visited by lakhs of devotees from all over the country and abroad, the commission directed the Travancore Devawom Board (TDB) Commissioner, Secretary LSGD and DGP to intervene in the matter urgently. The officials have been asked to file a report within two weeks, Commission member P Mohandas said. The Ayyappa devotees visiting the shrine have been denied all basic amenities, the commission said.
“The toilet facilities are so poor that human faeces is now flowing in Pamba river making it more filthy, causing severe health hazard to the devotees and others,” the commission said. There is no water in toilets, forcing them to make Pamba River filthy. The famous hill temple had opened Friday evening for the two-month-long annual pilgrimage season as a stand-off continued over entry of menstrual age women into the shrine.