It was felt that the ban would hurt religious sentiments

Fire-walking ban Karnataka CM unwilling for trial by fire Devotees at Tumakuru district walking on the embers after the accident on March 2016
news Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 18:38

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has backtracked on the ban on the fire-walking ritual in the state on Thursday, two days after he proposed the ban on the dangerous ritual.

Siddaramaiah who is known to be an Anti-Superstition Bill crusader proposed the ban in the Assembly after 70 people were severely injured when they fell on the bed of embers during Mahashivrathri celebrations at Adi Shakti Mariamma temple in Hetthenahalli village on March 7.

Read more: Karnataka chief minister to nix dangerous fire-walking ritual 

The CM decided not to go ahead with the ban after his party legislators convinced him not to, as they felt that it would hurt religious sentiments and bring about unnecessary animosity between the people and the government.

UT Khader, the state health minister said, “Governance means to safeguard the interests and safety of the people. Now this ritual is done by people knowing the physical repercussions of what might happen. More than physical injuries they are afraid of the bad luck or the misery that not taking part in the ritual would bring to them. Going against it would not serve the interest of the people.”

“As a health minister, at the most, we can have medical camps outside the area where this happens so that the injured would be able to get immediate help,” he added.

Last year, a person from Bengaluru suffered injuries after he tried to save a woman devotee who had fallen into the fire.

The media advisor to the CM, Dinesh Amin Mattu, said that Siddaramaiah is still against such superstitions, but it was just an opinion he had expressed in the house after the March 7 tragedy. He had not introduced anything official. The CM will not change his opinion, but he might wait for a little while before he introduces anything official on the ban.

Mattu said that Suresh Gowda, the local MLA of the area, where the tragedy took place on Mahashivrathri demanded compensation for the family of the devotee who passed away. The CM denied compensation for such cases on the floor of the house and said that as an MLA he should make sure such dangerous rituals don't take place.

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