Kollam, Apr 17: A week after the fire tragedy at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi temple at Paravoor left 108 dead, the temple opened for darshan early this morning. The Tantri (Chief priest) Unnikrishnan Namboothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum at 4.00 AM. A large number of people from the area were present at the time. As per custom, the practice is to reopen the temple only on the seventh day after the festival ends with a fireworks diplay on the final day of the ‘Meena bharani’ festival.(Also Read: Kerala BJP seeks CBI, NIA probe into temple disaster)
However, there were ifferences of opinion on whether or not to open the temple on the seventh day. But after consultations with all concerned, it was decided to open as per custom, temple sources said. The tragedy had struck around 3.30 AM on Sunday during a display of fireworks at the temple complex, where thousands of people had gathered to witness it. The mishap occurred as sparks from fireworks fell on the storeroom ‘Kambapura’ and the crackers kept there exploded The blaze spread quickly trapping devotees within the complex.
More than 300 people are still undergoing treatment at hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam for the injuries they sustained. Police had registered a case of attempt to murder and other offences against six persons, including members of temple managing committee and associates of firework contractors in connection with the tragedy.