AMRITSAR: 24-year old Dalbir Singh, a kite maker who played the role of Ravana in the Ram Leela on a fateful night, saved the lives of many revellers watching Dussehra before he was crushed to death.
Dalbir, who was watching the burning of Ravan effigy later from the elevated railway tracks along with hundred others, saw the train rushing towards them.
According to one of his friends, suddenly the crowd unaware of the speeding train started moving towards the track. He knew what was about to happen. He first waved at them and told them not to come towards the tracks and then pushed whoever he found there off the tracks, while he himself was just yards away from the track. He went on doing this until he was crushed to death along with 59 others.
Dalbir, who was running a shop on the ground floor of their house, was the only bread earner in his family.
Grieving the 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."
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.
(With ANI inputs)