Kollam Temple Fire: HC Declines Bail To 39 Accused, Calls For Ban On Fireworks At Festivals

28/05/2016 8:15 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
MANJUNATH KIRAN via Getty Images
Onlookers and medias stand amidst the debris in the aftermath of the deadly fire explosion that rocked the Hindu Goddess, Puttingal Devi Temple in Paravur, 60kms North-West of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on the late evening of April 10, 2016. More than 100 people have died and 350 injured when fireworks meant to be lit for festivities caught fire and exploded near the temple where thousands of people had gathered to witness the extravanganza on the early hours of April 10. / AFP / MANJUNATH KIRAN (Photo credit should read MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

KOCHI -- The Kerala High Court today declined bail to 39 accused in the Kollam Puttingal temple fireworks tragedy that claimed 109 lives in April.

The Court, however, granted bail to two other accused stating that they had no active role in causing the explosion. They had only sold some substance to contractors one or two months back, Justice P Ubaid said.

Refusing the bail to 39 accused, including the temple Trust officials, the judge observed that Kerala has developed a very unhealthy cultural practice that any religious festival or ceremony must be glamorised by fireworks and elephant parade.

"It is high time we banned or controlled the use of fireworks and explosive substances during festivals and religious ceremonies."

"It is high time we banned or controlled the use of fireworks, explosive substances and elephant parades in connection with festivals and ceremonies. No religion will promote or sponsor such explosive ceremonies," the judge said.

The judge also observed that "the officers functioning under law do not have guts and commitments to enforce the law."

Noting that the bureaucracy requires refinement, the Court said if the officials had been stern, such an unfortunate incident would not have happened in Puttingal Devi temple.

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