The Kollam district collector had denied permission for carrying out fireworks in the Puttingal Devi Temple on April 8.

Kollam fire District police chief gave permission for fireworks despite Collectors ban
news Kollam Fire Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 14:23

It has now emerged that the Kollam district police chief P Prakash told the district collector to give permission to the temple authorities for the fireworks display in complete disregard of the Collector’s order.

The Kollam district collector had denied permission for carrying out fireworks in the Puttingal Devi Temple on April 8.

However, a Manorama report says that in his letter dated April 9, the district police chief had recommended the district collector to allow the fireworks display to go ahead as part of the temple rituals. The district police chief wrote the letter apparently on the instructions of Chathannur ACP. 

Kerala Additional Chief Secretary Nalini Netto’s report on the Puttingal fire tragedy that killed more than 100 people had earlier come down heavily on the Kollam district police.

According to Manorama, the Home Secretary’s report said that the city police commissioner had held a meeting with the temple committee members on April 9. He had advised them to approach the Additional District Magistrate, in order to seek permission for the customary fireworks but not for competitive fireworks (kambam).  

Manorama also released a letter of recommendation written by the Commissioner to the Kollam district Collector, in which he asks permission for customary fireworks.  

The police have responded saying that they had asked permission only for customary fireworks and they had taken the same stand in a letter they had written on April 6, before the authorities denied permission.

The report also points out some lapses on the part of Kollam police in how they ignored reports from the Collector, Intelligence and Explosives Controller.

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