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Chandy asks opposition not to politicise temple disaster 

Kollam (Kerala), April 15 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday asked the Left opposition not to make political capital out of the Kollam temple disaster, in which 114 were killed and more than 350 injured after a blaze caused by an ‘illegal’ fireworks display.

Chandy’s sharp reaction came after local legislator G.S.Jayalal, of the Left Democratic Front, sat in protest before the authorities on Friday along with a few victims, complaining that they have not received the first instalment of Rs.5,000 relief announced for the injured.

“Several patients have not got the immediate Rs.5,000 compensation that the state government announced. I brought this to the attention to the three-member ministerial delegation that came to inspect the damages and also to the chief minister yesterday (Thursday) at the all party meeting. But no action is forthcoming as yet,” Jayalal told the media.

Subhas, a local resident who was injured in the fireworks display at the Puttingal Devi temple in the coastal town of Paravur on Sunday, said that for the past four days he is an outpatient at a local hospital here and he is yet to get any assistance from anyone.

In response, Chandy told reporters that the tragedy occurred on Sunday and the government’s first priority was to give free treatment to every person who was injured and it has been done.

“Rs.20 crore for rescue, relief and rehabilitation have been transferred to the district authorities and it will take a little more time for the money to reach the people because of formalities to be followed. It’s not good to make political capital when tragedy strikes,” he said.

Soon after the tragedy occurred, the Kerala government announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the family of the dead, Rs.2 lakh to those who have been seriously injured and Rs.50,000 for those who were injured.

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