Thiruvananthapuram, April 15: Top political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, might have found an opportunity to reach out to the people of the poll-bound Kerala in the wake of the devastating fire at a temple in Kollam last Sunday (April 10) that led to the death of over 100 people but the states DGP, TP Senkumar, said later that the visits by Modi and other VVIPs at the tragedy site compromised their security and disrupted the relief efforts.
Senkumar told The Indian Express on Thursday that the police department had to take care of the safety of Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at a time when its personnel were busy with the rescue and relief work. [These stats say why fire safety in India is a joke]
Senkumar, a 1983-batch officer who became the DGP in May last year, said he was against the idea of the PM visiting the spot within 12 hours of the accident. He said it would be better if Modi visited the place a day after the disaster but the latter insisted on visiting the very day the tragedy occurred. [Flyover collapse, temple fire: Do tragedies in poll-bound states turn political in no time?]
"Our entire force had been working from early morning, engaged in rescue and relief work. So much work was still left and all of them were tired because there was no provision of even drinking water. We had to make arrangements for the safety and security of Prime Minister Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too," the daily quoted Senkumar as saying.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, said different things. He said Modi's visit was a great relief for the people.