Government calls all-party meeting to discuss ban on cracker bursting and fireworks display

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016,11:27 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Alappuzha | The Kerala government has called an all-party meeting on April 14 to discuss whether or not to ban fireworks display during festivities in places of worship in the backdrop of the Paravoor temple tragedy which has claimed 109 lives and left over 350 injured.

The meeting, scheduled to be held at 2 pm, is seeking a consensus to help the government formulate a fireworks policy decision, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said at a news conference here.

A statewide raid to find and close illegal explosives manufacturing and storing facilities has been ordered, he told reporters.

The Home Minister said as the state was heading for polls, the government cannot take a unilateral decision on banning fireworks. After discussions, the government would move forward in this regard, he said.

The meeting was convened in the wake of a demand to ban cracker bursting and fireworks display in public functions following the tragedy in Paravoor at the weekend. The Kerala High Court is set to hear this afternoon a plea for a ban on cracker bursting and fireworks display in temple functions.

The accident at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex occurred during an unauthorised display of fireworks early Sunday morning after a spark from a firecracker fell on the storehouse containing crackers, triggering explosions.

The worst fireworks explosion tragedy in Kerala claimed 109 lives so far and left over 350 injured.