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Temple fire in Kerala: 3 cars with explosives found near Temple

A day after 109 people were killed and 380 injured in the tragic fire incident in Kollam district of Kerala, three cars with ‘explosives’ were reportedly found near the Puttingal temple on Monday.

Temple fire in Kerala-AV

The devastating fire had engulfed the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex during an unauthorised display of fireworks early on Sunday morning.

The owners of the cars have been identified as SS Thushara, Surendran KL & Stalin Almeida.

Police have registered a case against 25 people – including 15 temple committee members, 2 fireworks contractors and 8 others, – for attempt to murder and other charges in connection with the Putttingal Devi temple fire tragedy.

Five persons have been held for questioning but police did not the reveal their identity or say if they are part of the 25 people against whom cases have been lodged. The accused are charged under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the IPC and Section four of the Explosives Substances Act, police said.

Meanwhile, amid growing clamour for a ban on temple fireworks display, the Travancore Devaswom Board which manages about 1,255 temples in the state, said it did not support a complete ban on such displays. Prayar Goapalakrishnan, President of TDB, said the board was against banning the pyrotechnics during temple festivals as they are part of rituals.

Meanwhile, police has registered a case against six persons, including members of the temple managing committee and associates of firework contractors, on attempt to murder and other charges in connection with the Putttingal Devi temple fire tragedy.

Kerala is in the middle of its election – it votes on May 16 and campaigning is on.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Kollam district administration had denied the temple authorities permission for the display and the government would investigate why they went ahead anyway. “There was no permission to even store the fireworks,” he said.

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