Thiruvananthapuram: According to the Travancore Devaswom Board reports, till Friday, close to 3.5 lakh pilgrims have booked for darshan through the Kerala Police online facility. As many as 560 women between the ages of 10 and 50 have expressed their plan to visit the temple when it opens for the 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakku period on November 17. 

The exciting part is the Kerala Police are considering the use of military helicopters to airlift women devotees to Sabarimala from Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi to save them from ‘Save Sabarimala’ protesters.

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The police said the helicopter would require the forest department’s concurrence to use a landing spot cleared in the early 1980s for the visit of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to the temple.

The Supreme Court verdict on September 28 allowing the entry of women of all age groups into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple had made the famous shrine a battlefield.

This new plan is to save women of 10-50 age group to reach the Sannidhanam. "Till now, no women under the age 50 have entered the shrine, the new plan of helicopters will also be a big flop," said Amal Krishna, an Ayyappa devotee. 

Meanwhile, Kerala Police have registered 543 cases and arrested 3701 Ayyappa devotees, who participated in the agitation over Sabarimala issue in Pathanamthitta. Both the opposition parties want the government to file a review petition against the order in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the review petitions pending at the apex court will be heard on November 13.

 "Where would the helicopter land will be the big question to Kerala Police. The Left groups are making the highest number of mistakes this year," said Anil Kumar, a Pathanamthitta native.