Kollam, Apr 10: Conflicting versions are emerging on permission being granted for conduct of fireworks display at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi temple complex in Kerala, near here, where at least 102 lives were lost in a major fire today.
While the office of Kollam District collector A Shainamol's office told PTI that no permission was granted to conduct the fireworks display, local people claimed the ban was lifted later in the night. They claimed a ban had been imposed on a complaint by one Pankajakshi, a resident near the temple complex against holding fireworks display.
Pankajakshi alleged that temple authorities had threatened her after the complaint was filed. Local people in the area told PTI that late at night, the ban was lifted following a 'mutual agreement'.
However, Kollam City Police commissioner P Prakash, said police did not given permission for the display of fireworks. "The locals said they had received oral permission. The temple authority did not have the permission and we did not give them any permission," he said. "A case has been registered and a team from Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Thiruvananthapuram will be reaching here," he said.
Fireforce DGP Loknath Behara said "the incident will be treated as a criminal act." A special team from fireforce will also probe into the incident, said Behara, who visited the spot.