All aspects of temple tragedy will be probed: Police

Kollam (Kerala), April 11 (IANS) All aspects of the fire tragedy in a Kerala temple that left 112 people dead will be probed, a police officer said on Monday.

S. Ananthakrishnan, who heads the Crime Branch, made the comments in Thiruvananthapuram amid latest revelations that police had given the green signal for the fireworks show that caused the disaster.

“The criminal liabilities will be looked into and the team for the probe is now ready,” he told the media.

“All aspects with regards to the permission given for the event and what happened after that will be looked into,” he added.

Huge quantities of fireworks stored in a building went up in flames early on Sunday at the Puttingal Devi temple at Paravur in Kollam district, claiming 112 lives and leaving more than 350 people injured.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Sunday announced a judicial probe as well as an investigation by the Crime Branch.

Kollam District Collector A. Shinemol on Monday told the media that the district police had initially submitted a report saying permission cannot be given for the fireworks show.

“But on the 9th of this month, the police changed their position. An explanation will be asked on this change of stand,” she said.

She denied there was political pressure for the change of mind.

P. Prakash, the Kollam Commissioner of police, said he would comment on this issue only to the probe teams.

Marxist leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Monday called for a probe into the Sunday tragedy by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“The need of the hour is an NIA probe into the entire episode as there are reports of very powerful explosives used,” he said.

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