Artist playing Ravan among victims of Amritsar train tragedy

Amritsar: Dalbir Singh, the artist who played the role of Ravan at the tragedy-stricken Ramleela also passed away after a train plowed into a crowd that had spilled over to a railway track to watch Dussehra fireworks here.

Singh had completed his act on-stage and was in the event to collect a shield of appreciation when the tragedy hit him. He is survived by an 8-month-old daughter and a wife.

Grieving death of his son, Mother of the victim, Sawan Kaur demanded an inquiry and compensation. She said, “There should be an enquiry to ascertain as to what led to this accident. We want that the government should provide us with aid.”

Deceased victim’s brother Balbir Singh said, “Ramleela happens here every year. My brother was playing the role of Ravan in the Ramleela. The Ramleela stage play had culminated and he went to Dussehra celebration to receive a shield for his performance. He was at the site when the Raavan Effigy was being burned. When the speeding train hit the people, he tried to help people and was trying to pull them out from the tracks when his legs came under the speeding train. His death is very shocking for the family and his infant daughter and wife need assistance for living.”

He also urged the government to provide financial assistance and a job to the wife of the deceased.

The accident took place in Choura Bazar near Joda Phatak area of Amritsar where a large number of people were watching the burning of Ravana effigy while standing along the railway tracks when a Jalandhar to Amritsar train crushed them. In the accident, as many as 60 people have lost their lives while 51 others have sustained injuries.