Nilakkal (Kerala), Nov. 19 -- Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, KJ Alphons, who is currently on his way to the Sabarimala Temple, on Monday, said that the situation at the hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa is worse than an emergency situation.

"A situation worse than emergency is happening here, the devotees are not allowed to go up. Section 144 is imposed for no reason," Alphons told ANI.

"Devotees are not terrorists, why do they need 15000 policemen here?," he added.

The Sabarimala Temple reopened on Friday for a 62-day long Mandala Pooja-Magaravilaku annual pilgrimage season.

A string of protests was witnessed in Kerala in October when the temple opened for the first time after the Supreme Court passed the order, allowing females of...