CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury has objected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit the victims of the Paravur temple fire mishap in Kollam, Kerala, on the same day of the tragedy.
He said the prime minister should have avoided the rush to visit the disaster spot as it would have affected rescue operations. He also said that it was the reason why he stayed away from the accident site.
However, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, called it an attempt to insult the PM who visited the victims at the earliest.
“The PM did not cause any inconvenience to the patients. The move to make a controversy out of the PM’s visit is embarrassing for the state,” he said.
Earlier, the Kerala Director General of Police objected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kollam within hours of the explosion. He said the entire police department was busy in rescue and relief work and the visits by PM Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi meant that they had to ensure their “safety and security” as well.
Also according to R Ramesh, Director of Health Services (DHS), Kerala, the visits of VVIPs, to the ICU and wards at the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital to meet the injured were “unwarranted”.
“Modi and Congress leader Gandhi visited the patients separately on Sunday at a time when seven of eight patients admitted in the ICU were in “the most critical condition, with 60 to 90 per cent burn injuries”, Ramesh told a newspaper.
“A decision by the VVIPs to visit such a hospital filled with charred bodies and patients with severe burn injuries and amputated limbs was unwarranted. We have no issues with them visiting victims but after two or three days, not within hours after the accident, which is a period we consider as the ‘golden hours’ to stabilise and save the lives of victims,” said Ramesh.
However, Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy had defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Puttingal Devi temple at Kollam.
“The PM’s visit to the spot was a great relief for the people. National leaders visited and their presence and advice and help was a great thing for Kerala. All rescue operations were over in the morning. We all concentrated on treatment of the injured after 6 am,” he said.
The Kerala temple tragedy, that claimed over 1110 lives, and injured 380, has become a burning issue in the state. While the district administration and the police blamed each other for the tragedy, senior Kerala High Court Judge Justice V Chitambaresh called for a ban on the use of high decibel fire cracker and sought immediate judicial intervention by the court to stop “man-made” tragedies like the Kollam horror.