Over the last few days, Dalbir Singh had donned the role of Ravana in the Ramlila celebrations in Amritsar. However, on Dussehra, he met a similar fate as that of the character he played. Dalbir was among the 60 people who were killed in the massive train accident at the Dussehra celebrations in Amritsar on Friday.
He is survived by his mother, wife and an eight-month-old baby. With Dalbir being the sole bread earner, the hapless family is now looking up to the government for help. "I appeal to the government to provide a job to my daughter-in-law. She also has an 8-month old baby," Dalbir's mother said.
#Amritsar: Dalbir Singh (pic 1), who played the role of Ravan in a Ramlila in the city during Dussehra celebrations, died in #AmritsarTrainAccident, yesterday. His mother (pic 3) says, "I appeal to the govt to provide a job to my daughter-in law. She also has a 8-month old baby." pic.twitter.com/MFDHVhwf4G
— ANI (@ANI) October 20, 2018
At least 60 were killed and scores injured when a local train ran over people gathered to watch Dussehra celebrations in Choura Bazar near Amritsar. They were on a level crossing when the high-speed train ran into them. Those who managed to escape said that noise from crackers from the event muted the sound of the oncoming train.
The event was organised in a field which is believed to be big enough for 2000 people. At Friday's event, some estimates say close to 7000 people had gathered, many forced to stand on the railway track to watch the celebrations. It is also reported that many were busy clicking selfies or making videos of the celebrations and did not notice the train.
The blame game has already begun with organisers saying no security was provided while many even pointed fingers at them for not ensuring proper crowd management. Several people even questioned the Indian Railways for the accident.
However, Railway authorities defended themselves saying that train speeds are pre-set and emergency brakes even if applied are not effective enough to halt it at a moment's notice. Since the accident took place in the dark, the driver may not have seen the presence of such a large number of people on the tracks too.
It is being said that the event was organised by Congress and that Navjot Kaur Sidhu - wife of minister Navjot Singh Sidhu - was the chief guest. She and her husband Navjot Singh Sidhu deflected the blame and said that it should only be viewed as an accident. "It was a sad and an unfortunate incident. It is necessary to understand that it was an accident. There has been negligence but it was never intentional or motivated," he told reporters.