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Priority remains bringing guilty to book: Sonia to Chandy on Kollam inferno

New Delhi: In the wake of the deadly inferno at the Puttingal temple in Kollam killing at least 105 people, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday wrote to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy asserting that bringing the guilty to book immediately must be the top priority and must be ensured without delay.

“I write to you in this hour of devastating tragedy that has taken more than a hundred lives and injured so many more, to reiterate my grief and concern. The Congress Party, as indeed the entire nation, stands with the people of Kerala today,” Sonia said in the letter.

Stating that based on her prior conversation with Chandy over the phone, she expressed hope that the state government is ensuring all possible relief measures in terms of medical treatment, emergency protocols and compensation.

“Providing medical relief, financial assistance and bringing the guilty to book immediately will, I am sure, be a priority, and will be ensured without delay. I pray for the peace of the departed souls and the well being and speedy recovery of the injured,” the letter added.

Earlier today, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the site of the inferno and the victims of the fire in Kollam and expressed confidence that the state government was acting very decisively and swiftly in the matter.

“I have spoken to the Chief Minister and our leaders and our government is acting very decisively and swiftly. We have taken care of the people who are injured and hurt. I came here to see with my own eyes as to what has happened. I visited some of the patients and I went to the site. It’s a time of tragedy and a very sad time for the country and we are with the people of Kerala,” Rahul told the media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College today where he met the particularly serious patients in the burns intensive unit.

He said that he had assured Chief Minister Chandy of complete aid from the Centre and added that assistance would be provided if the serious patients need to be shifted to Mumbai or New Delhi for further treatment.

“The incident that happened today is extremely saddening. Nobody can imagine that death can come in such a manner. So many people have been severely injured that too on such a large scale. I visited the site of the incident today, went to the hospitals where the injured have been admitted and also spoke to the Chief Minister,” the Prime Minister said.

At least 105 people were charred to death in a fire accident at Puttingal temple during a festival at Paravur in Kollam district early this morning. 350 people have been injured and admitted to various hospitals.

The fire broke out due to the explosion of crackers at the temple. The fire has now been brought under control. (ANI)