Kerala police prepares for crowd management at Sabarimala Mandala Puja


PTI, Dec 19, 2023, 6:23 PM IST

Pilgrims outside the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple (Credit: ANI)

Sabarimala: The Kerala police on Tuesday said they are gearing up to manage the crowd at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple during the Mandala Puja on December 27.

Over 500 policemen are expected to arrive at the hill shrine in the coming days, with a total deployment of around 2,700 personnel for Mandala Puja, an official release said here on Tuesday.

As of now, 2,150 personnel from various departments, including police, RRF, Bomb Squad, CRPF, and NDRF, are on duty in and around Sannidhanam.

Additional personnel are stationed in Pampa and Nilakkal. The duty of 750 personnel at Sabarimala concluded on Tuesday, with new officials taking charge.

DIG Rahul R Nair welcomed the incoming personnel at a programme held at Sannidhanam auditorium, emphasising the need for police to be proactive in handling the increasing rush.

He stressed the importance of treating devotees with the utmost care, urging policemen to adhere to duty timings and ensuring a smooth handover process.

The officer highlighted that 40 per cent of Sabarimala’s visitors are women and children, heightening the police’s responsibility.

To manage the pilgrimage crowd effectively, 10 divisions of police personnel have been formed under the leadership of DYSPs, comprising ten DYSPs, 35 inspectors, and 105 Sub-Inspectors and ASIs. Special officer K S Sudarshanan noted the proactive planning by the police for potential increased rush in the coming days.

Currently, around 4,000 devotees climb the 18 holy steps every hour.

The police said they are committed to ensuring a seamless darshan experience for everyone.

They have appealed to devotees to follow instructions and cooperate fully.

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