No permission granted for Dussehra event at Amritsar accident-site: Officials
(Sourced from PTI)
The Amritsar Municipal Corporation said no permission was granted to hold Dussehra celebrations at 'Dhobi ghat' ground in Amritsar a day after the train tragedy, At least 61 people were killed and 72 injured yesterday after a crowd of Dussehra revelers that spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak near Amritsar.
"Nobody was given the permission for organizing the Dussehra event. Moreover, nobody had applied for the permission with the Amritsar Municipal Corporation," Amritsar Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Sonali Giri, said. She said the celebrations were held at the 'Dhobi ghat' ground in Amritsar.
The Commissioner said unlike last year, the event was held on a large scale yesterday evening. She added that there was also a small temple at the ground. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former MLA and wife of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, was the chief guest of the event. The event was organized by Saurabh Madan, husband of Congress Councilor Vijay Madan.
Opposition parties, including the Akali Dal, BJP, and AAP have demanded strict action against those who gave permission for holding the event. They have also held the Congress-led Punjab Government responsible for allowing the Dussehra celebrations near the railway track.
At the time of the tragic incident, at least 300 people were watching 'Ravana Dahan' at the ground adjacent to the elevated rail tracks. As the effigy was lit and the fireworks went off, a section of the crowd started retreating towards the tracks where a large number of people were already standing to watch the event, officials had said.