2k police personnel to stand guard in Kanyakumari during PM's rock memorial meditation

Vivekananda rock
Vivekananda rock

Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) | All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed, mid-sea Vivekananda Rock Memorial here on Thursday, as he would sit on meditation at the place named after the revered Hindu saint.

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu petitioned the district collector against granting permission for the PM's spiritual sojourn, citing the election model code of conduct that is in force, besides the ongoing tourism season that would see a good influx of domestic and foreign tourists.

The beach will be out of bounds for tourists from Thursday to Saturday and private boats would also not be allowed to ferry.

The district in the country's southern most tip will see a strong posse of 2,000 police personnel and various security agencies maintain a tight vigil during the PM's event, five years after he went on a similar meditation exercise in a Kedarnath cave after the 2019 poll campaign.

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, here following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign on May 30, BJP leaders had said.

He will meditate from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda -- a spiritual icon admired by Modi -- is believed to have had a divine vision about 'Bharat Mata', BJP leaders said.

The PM is also likely to offer prayers at the famous Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple here. Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, a towering 133 ft sculpture erected for the Tamil bard. The complex is located adjacent to the rock memorial.

Security has been beefed up ahead of Modi's visit. Tirunelveli range DIG Pravesh Kumar accompanied by superintendent of police E Sundaravathanam had inspected the security arrangements at the rock memorial, boat jetty, helipad and the state guest house here.

Even as the Prime Minister's core security team reached the venue, a trial of helicopter landing had also been conducted at the helipad.

About 2,000 police personnel would be deployed in and around Kanyakumari, which is on the international tourism map.

The presence of the Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple on the shore close to the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea tri-sea confluence, the Tiruvalluvar statue and the clean beach also add to the charm of the destination.

Describing about the rock, the official website of the Kanyakumari district administration said, "according to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kanniyakumari did Tapas (meditation)."

As per his tentative schedule, Modi is expected to arrive at Kanyakumari late afternoon on May 30 for the spiritual sojourn. He would later proceed to the memorial.

He is likely to stay at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial till 3 pm of June 1, when the country will be voting in the seventh and final phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Since the Prime Minister would stay for about 45 hours to meditate, the coastal security group, Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy would maintain a vigil along the marine borders, said a source.

BJP functionaries had earlier said Modi's decision to pick the spot in Kanyakumari for his spiritual sojourn underscores his commitment to bringing to fruition Vivekananda's vision for the country.

He has been sounding confident about returning to power for a third term after the votes are counted on June 4. The last phase of polling is scheduled for June 1. Campaigning for polls ends two days before elections.

The rock, where the prime minister will meditate, had a major impact on Vivekananda's life and holds a similar significance in the monk's life as Sarnath for Gautam Buddha, they said.

It was here that Vivekananda arrived after wandering across the country, meditated for three days and had a vision for a developed India, they said.

"Meditating at the same place shows Prime Minister Modi's commitment to bringing Swami ji's vision of a Viksit Bharat to life," a BJP leader said, adding, the place is also referred in holy texts as the site of Goddess Parvati's meditation for Lord Shiva.

"Prime Minister Modi is giving a signal of national unity by going to Kanyakumari," a leader said, adding that it also shows his deep commitment and affection for Tamil Nadu that he is visiting the state even after the elections are over.

The PM had made multiple visit to the state earlier this year, combining official work with visits to places of religious significance, such as Dhanushkodi which has a Ramayana connect.

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