Published: Wednesday January 23, 2013 MYT 9:32:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday January 23, 2013 MYT 9:47:00 PM
All set for grand Thaipusam celebration
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 1,300 police personnel and more than 500 members of the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) will be deployed for security control during the Thaipusam celebration on Sunday.
Gombak police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Abdullah said Wednesday that police would also make available five mobile police stations for the people to lodge reports on crime.
He said many devotees were expected to gather at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in the wee hours of Saturday and follow the silver chariot on its journey through several streets of Kuala Lumpur to the Sri Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves.
"We expect the procession to arrive at Batu Caves at about 2.30pm the same day. Several roads along the way will be closed in stages to facilitate the procession.
"Besides Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, the other roads to be closed are Jalan Sultan, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Ampang and Jalan Ipoh," he told a news conference held together with Sri Maha Mariamman Dhevasthanam temple chairman Datuk R. Nadarajah.
Nadarajah said the temple management had secured the cooperation of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, several other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Selayang Municipal Council to facilitate the Thaipusam celebration.
He also said the number of stalls in the Batu Caves temple compound had been reduced to 400 this year to facilitate movement of the anticipated 1.6 million devotees and visitors.
He advised the devotees and visitors not to wear too much jewellery and ensure that their belongings were well secured so as not to attract the attention of snatch thieves and robbers.
An information and complaints counter would be opened at the administration office near the entrance of the temple, he added.
Meanwhile, the MIC said in a statement that it would be distributing 30,000 refreshment and food packets to devotees in the vicinity of its headquarters in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration.
Its secretary-general Datuk S. Murugessan said the party would be setting up a "Thaneer Panthal" (refreshment stall) on Friday from 11pm for the benefit of devotees taking part in the chariot procession.
"It is expected that there will be more than 100,000 devotees in the procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee to the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam temple," he said.
Murugessan said MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and other MIC leaders would be present during the chariot procession.
Reminding Hindus that Thaipusam, despite attracting many tourists over the years, was still a religious festival, he urged those participating in the procession to be mindful of the fact and to be traditionally dressed.
The festival commemorates the birthday of Lord Muruga, who was given a "vel" (spear) by the Goddess Parvathi to vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. - Bernama