As part of beefing up security at Sabarimala in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all age groups to worship, 500 women cops will be deployed around the shrine, according to Director General of Police Loknath Behera.
In a related development, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said it was not his party policy to prod women pilgrims to make it to the hill shrine.
Indicating a softened stance, he wrote in the party mouthpiece Deshabhimani that those women not keen on going to the shrine need not go. But for those who wished to trek it to Sabarimala, the government would provide necessary facilities, including security.
About the security, Behera said work and faith were entirely different and the women cops would be deployed from the start of the season in mid-November.
The 500 policewomen would be selected from among the 6,000-strong force of women officers and given special training, he added.