The security task force led by Sannidhanam police special officer, A.K.Venugopal, has conducted a combing operation in the forests surrounding Paandithavalom on Wednesday.

According to police, as many as 50 persons were taken into custody in the combing operation. All the 50 persons were wayside vendors and a majority of them reportedly hail from various North Indian States, police said.

The security squad have also conducted surprise inspections at various pilgrim shelters and donor houses at the Sannidhanam, later.

Mr Venugopal said security would be further tightened at Sabarimala in the coming days.

Five hotels fined

Meanwhile, another squad led by executive magistrate, V.Balakrishnan, have imposed a fine to the tune of Rs 20,000 on five hotels at Sannidhanam for violating the guidelines prescribed by the District Collector on Wednesday.

The squad also seized stale food from certain eateries at the Sannidhanam in the raid and have registered cases against the licensees, official sources said.

Rs 12 crore revenue

The Devaswom authorities at Sabarimala said the total revenue collection at the Ayyappa temple during the Makaravilakku festival has crossed Rs 12 crore on Tuesday evening against the Rs 10.4 crore

revenue at the pilgrim centre during the same period in the previous year.

The Aravana sales alone have fetched revenue worth Rs 4.06 crore, besides the Hundi collection of Rs 5.29 crore, sources said.

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