Temple fire: NHRC notice to top Kerala officials


New Delhi, April 12: A day after a devastating fire swept through the Puttingal Devi Temple complex in Kollam killing over 100 people, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Monday issued notices to the Kerala Chief Secretary and top officials of Kollam district seeking their reports in four weeks.

The Commission, while issuing the notices, observed that the life of hundreds of people was at risk by such an event organised by the temple authorities who decided to hold fireworks despite having been denied permission by the district administration.

It said media reports indicate that the administration remained a “mute spectator” and was “negligent” in preventing the violation of right to life of the victims.

Apart from the Chief Secretary, the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police of Kollam have been served the notices and asked to file reports within four weeks. The Chief Secretary has also been asked to apprise the Commission about the steps taken by the state government to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future.

Kerala government has ordered a judicial probe and also a probe by the Crime Branch into the incident.

The tragedy had struck during a display of fireworks at the temple complex where thousands of people gathered to witness it. Sparks of the fireworks fell on the storeroom ‘Kambapura’ and the fire crackers kept there exploded.

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