Kollam, April 12: Following suggestion from a judge that fireworks be banned from all Kerala temples, the Kerala High Court deliberated on the matter and just stayed away from barring fireworks from temple, but raised a series of concerns and lot of questions on police inaction regarding the tragedy.
First observation of the judges was, Police failed to provide basic safety to devotees who had gathered at the Kollam temple late on Saturday night which amounts to a violation of human rights. Secondly and the most important was how did the police not get any information on stocking huge amount of fireworks in the temple. Didn’t a single cop notice the explosives that were collected for the show? (Also Read: Kollam fire tragedy: 5 members of Puttingal temple’s managing committee surrender)
Also, the fact that the fireworks were made by amateur without knowledge had used banned chemicals which resulted in such a disaster disturbed the court to no ends. Few temple officials, who were charged with attempt to murder, surrendered before police on Tuesday. The court didn’t spare the government too for the tragedy saying since the election is due next month, politicians are busy with that and had overlooked this.
Earlier, Kerala saw one of its worst tragedies which killed 109 and injured more than thousand in a devastating fire that engulfed the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex near here during an unauthorised display of fireworks. The tragedy struck around 3.30 AM during display of fireworks at the temple complex, which is around 70 kms from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The fireworks, for which no permission had been granted by Revenue and police officials, had started at midnight as part of an annual festival and thousands of people had gathered to witness it. The mishap occurred as sparks of the fireworks fell on the store room ‘Kambapura’ and the fire crackers kept there exploded with a deafening noise, police said. The blaze spread quickly trapping the devotees within the complex. Charred bodies and human remains were strewn around the temple complex after the fire tragedy.