The police have made elaborate arrangements for crowd management at Sabarimala during the Makaravilakku festival, Inspector-General of Police A. Hemachandran, who is also the police coordinator at Sabarimala, has said.

Mr. Hemachandran was addressing a press conference after a meeting of police officials at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Sunday.

He said the police had initiated steps to check the intrusion of pilgrims through unauthorised forest paths into the main queue following a direction from the Kerala High Court. An action plan had been chalked out by District Superintendent of Police K. Sanjaykumar to tackle the problem. A task force headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police P.S. Sabu had been constituted. The personnel of the Forest Department would assist the police team.

Mr. Sanjaykumar told The Hindu that the police had identified nine major infiltration routes in the forests and steps had been taken to plug them.

Mr. Hemachandran said the police had got information regarding a ‘paid gang' operating from Pampa which took the pilgrims through the various unauthorised forest routes. Directions had been issued to identify the gang members and take strict action against them.

He said the police had decided to block vehicular traffic at certain points on the main trunk road leading to Pampa as and when necessary to check overcrowding at Sabarimala. He said the expertise of the National Disaster Response Force and the Rapid Action Force would be effectively utilised for crowd management at Sabarimala.