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It seems the district administration has learnt no lesson from the Amritsar rail tragedy as devotees on Tuesday were seen standing on the railway tracks over the Sirhind Canal during Chhath Puja.Many people were crushed under a train while watching the Dasehra festivities by standing on the rail tracks.
Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel were absent from the spot as a similar mishap was averted on Tuesday as a large number of people were standing on the railway track when a train passed from there. The people moved aside in the nick of time. Every year, migrants celebrate Chhath Puja festival near the railway track on the Sirhind Canal. Negligent attitude of the administration can lead to an Amritsar-like tragedy.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Praneet said, “This is the property of the Railways. They did not bring this matter to our notice otherwise we could have made proper arrangements.”
Bathinda RPF commandant Inspector Jugraj Singh said, “This railway brigade comes under Ferozepur division so I can’t say anything on this. Another brigade which comes under our area, we have deployed our personnel there since yesterday.”
SSP Bathinda Dr Nanak Singh said, “As soon as we got the information today we sent a police team and got the people removed from the railway tracks.”
All the major water bodies in the city such as the Sirhind Canal turned into a festive venue with devotees thronging the place to offer “arghya” to the setting sun.
Hundreds of devotees with incense sticks, bags of fruits and sugarcane arrived at the canal to perform puja at sunset.
Many family members, including women, were also seen crawling on the road to reach the banks of the canal to perform the puja.
This article first appeared on www.tribuneindia.com
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