THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kollam city police commissioner P. Prakash having a good track record is now under a cloud for succumbing to political pressures and allowing the fireworks at Paravur Puttingal Devi temple, defying the district administration’s ban.
The young IPS officer had recommended permission for a ‘small-scale’ cracker work endorsing his subordinate’s views and also allegedly failed in initiating any action to stop the illegal firework that claimed over 100 lives.
Even as Mr. Prakash preferred to be tight-lipped on the circumstances in which he favoured the nod for the fireworks, sources close to him said that there were pressures from all political parties to allow the show.
Kollam district collector A. Shainamol, who is also a young IAS officer, went by the law despite the pulls and did not pay heed to the last- minute report of the city police commissioner recommending small fireworks. But Mr Prakash seemed to have been carried away by the high-level influence, it is believed.
“The temple authorities even made announcements that they had got permission for the fireworks and even hailed some political leaders for helping them obtain it. The firework contractors stocked explosives in the store room. All these happened in the presence of scores of policemen who were supposed to enforce the additional district magistrate’s orders,” said a revenue official.
Meanwhile, police sources said that the revenue officials could not wash of their hands. “The local revenue officials were also duty-bound to act against any violations of the ADM’s order banning the fireworks,” senior police officer said.
Mr Prakash was said to have been handpicked by state police chief T.P. Senkumar to head Kollam city in April last, and he had played a key role in tracking notorious criminal Antony Varghese alias Aadu Antony.