KOCHI: A petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court questioning Ernakulam district collector’s decision not to grant permission for conducting fireworks at Sree Marattil Kottaram Bhagavathi Temple at Maradu.

The petition was filed by MR Jayakanth Bhatt of Maradu and four others claiming that the fireworks is part of rituals and that it had been practised since the past 126 years. Except some stray incidents, there had been no accidents, casualties or danger to any residents, the petition said.

Stressing on the point of religious practice, the petition stated, “The exhibition of fireworks, particularly what is known as ‘Kathina’ is part of religious practice. It is a ritualistic salute to the deity, which can be compared to the police salute to the dead. Nobody has so far complained about what is known as ‘Acharavedi’, which was a practice whereby the police, during the days of Maharajas, salutes the dead. Likewise, the rituals in the Maradu temple are part of religious functions.”

Fireworks is conducted at a safe distance from residential areas and necessary precautions and protective measures are taken to ensure that the worshippers, believers, or even visitors do not have close access to the area, it is claimed.
The precautions are taken with previous intimation to police and explosives department and personnel from these departments are available for immediate supervision, said the petition.
Denial of permission by the collector is questioned by stating that the application was submitted by the festival committee long back but the application was rejected on the eve of the festival banning the use of fireworks altogether.