A major stampede was averted with the collective effort by the Rapid Action Force, National Disaster Response Force, and the Kerala Police when the police barricade was broken in the rush of pilgrims entering the Lower Tirumuttom from the Valiya Nadappanthal around 9.40 pm on Monday.
Few pilgrims were injured in the rush; however a major stampede tragedy was averted with the effective intervention of the well-trained crowd management forces attached to the Central Reserve Police Force.
The rush of pilgrims who reached the Sannidhanam from the northern side of the Lower Tirumuttom crossing the Bailey Bridge had turned the situation out of gear.
With hardly 36 hours left for the Mandalapuja, the sacred grove of Sabarimala has been witnessing an unprecedented rush, forcing the police to block the flow of pilgrims periodically to the holy hillock from Pampa periodically from Sunday night.
The throng of pilgrims turned so heavy that the space between the U-Turn on the Saramkuthi path and the Valiyanadappanthal has been witnessing a near-stampede from Monday afternoon.
Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been controlling the crowd along this highly risky and difficult stretch to avert any untoward situation.
The vehicular traffic on the main trunk road leading to Pampa too has gone up and the police had to block the Pampa-bound vehicles at definite intervals at Plappally and Nilackal. The parking lots at the main base camp at Nilackal have turned full.
Source : The Hindu