Thursday, April 21 2016, 03:52:10
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Komal Panwar


80-Year-Old Woman’s Warnings Prove True After Months Of Ignorance

  • JWB Post
  •  April 13, 2016


For years, eighty-year-old Pankajakshi, who has already had an angioplasty and a bypass surgery, has been pestering the Puttingal Devi Temple authorities to stop the Pyrotechnics show to avert a major tragedy. 

But as they’d have said, “She’s an old hag. What does she know?”

Her house is at less than 50 m away from the outer boundary wall, and needless to say, her warnings and complaints had gone unheard. Last Sunday, the accident at the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex occurred because of unauthorised display of fireworks after a spark from a firecracker fell on the storehouse containing crackers, triggering explosions.

Pankajakshi’s relatives were worried that she might be harmed, but the doom was meant to fall upon those who ignored the warnings.

The D-day was on Sunday, where plaster came off the ceiling, and her house suffered a lot of damage, too. About 110 people were killed, and 350 were injured in what we can now call, one of the worst tragedies in Kerala.

Just as she’d feared, the fireworks display went wrong, and along it brought a lot of sorrow.

“Some men came here and threatened us saying we will conduct the competitive fireworks display and if we are not allowed to do so, we will kill all of you and dump you in the river,” she said in an interview.

Crime Branch, which has begun investigations has registered a case against six persons, including members of temple managing committee under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of IPC and under section 4 of Explosives Substances Act. The five absconding members of the managing committee have finally surrendered.

Sometimes the truest battles are the loneliest. Hats off, though. You fought well, Pankajakshi ji.

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