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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of comments by certain political factions including BJP members that security gadgets at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple are defunct, the Temple officials have countered that stating that all security gadgets are functional except the integration of speed folding doors installed recently. Integration of speed folding doors can be taken up only after the Alpashi festival at the Temple that began on Saturday. The festival will conclude with the Arattu procession which will culminate with the holy bath of deities in the Shankumukham beach on Nov 7.

Political leaders mostly from BJP faction had reported that security gadgets worth Rs 9 crore installed at the temple is not operational and that the temple administration along with the state had failed to look into the security lapse at the temple.

Responding to that, Temple administrative committee members held that the statement over security lapse at the temple is baseless as it is verified with regular mock drills.

“Except the five speed folding doors including the one installed recently at the temple gates, all other security gadgets including bollards and blockers at the temple are functional,” Temple security officials told TOI. The electrification works of speed folding doors and its integration with security system can be taken up only after the completion of the Alpashi festival on Nov 7, he said.

The Temple officials indicated that politicisation over security lapse at the temple forms part of a reactionary response after a recent incident. “BJP members had installed a Devotees Offering Box at Goshala in the temple precincts which was opposed by the Temple officials citing security concerns, following that it was removed. It irked the BJP members who are venting out their fury by making baseless statements against temple security,” Temple officials told TOI.

Meanwhile, special rituals and daily cultural programs have begun as part of the 10-day long Alpashi festival which will conclude with the Thiruarattu procession on Nov 7. The three idols of deities Sri Padmanabha, Sri Narsimha and Sri Krishna will be carried In the Thiruarattu procession led by the Travancore Royal family members with devotees from the temple on Nov 7 at 5 pm and the idols will be dipped in the Shankumugham sea water after appropriate rituals. The idols will be carried in a car adorned in the form of a chariot all decked with flowers and decoration resembling Garuda or golden eagle, depicting the carrier of the lord Vishnu. On all days during the festival, cultural programs will be organised with the participation of reputed artists, singers and performers.