Pathanamthitta | The Kerala police on Wednesday launched an investigation into the incident of a man allegedly trespassing into Ponnambalamedu here, a hilltop area ritually connected with the famed Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple.
Police said they launched the investigation after registering a case on the basis of a complaint received from the commissioner of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the hilltop shrine.
The TDB official lodged the complaint with Moozhiyar police in the district on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the state forest department and the police probing the case have arrested the forest officials who allegedly facilitated the entry of the group of people into the protected forest area and allowed them to perform pujas.
In a video that surfaced on social media on Tuesday, a man who was part of the group that allegedly trespassed into Ponnambalamedu here could be seen sitting on a platform atop the Ponnambalamedu Hills, located about four kilometres from the Sabarimala temple, chanting mantras while performing some rituals.
According to Lord Ayyappa devotees, Ponnambalamedu is a revered place as the auspicious 'Makaravilakku' is lit there annually marking the culmination of the pilgrimage season at the hill shrine.
A high-security zone, the place, located in a deep forest, comes under the direct control of the Forest department.
Besides the accused, four others also appeared in the brief video that showed the visuals of Sabarimala temple from there as well.
K Ananthagopan, president of Travancore Devaswom Board, had condemned the act saying it was an emotional issue for Ayyappa devotees.