Dussehra tragedy at Amritsar

How inefficient administration coupled with careless organisers of an event of religious festival where hundreds of people participate can result in tragic death of precious human lives was unfortunately seen on the day of Dussehra at Jodha Railway Phatak in Amritsar. As many as 61 people were killed and more than 72 injured most of them with grievous wounds in the macabre incident. Two trains from the opposite direction added to the confusion giving no time or any opportunity to those who got trapped to attempt any escape. Parents lost their children and many children both the parents. The gory scene was simply dumbfounded and flabbergasting. Dismembered body parts , blood soaked ground , strewn slippers and footwear , torn clothes etc was all what the sight was replete with.
The incident throws open certain glaring acts of total negligence and absolute carelessness on the part of the local administration as well as the organisers of the event. VVIP culture has percolated so deep in our psyche that whatever police arrangements were there , they appeared to be only meant for the Chief Guest. It appeared that all the importance and attention was organised towards one and one figure only which was the Chief Guest and the huge public assembled there was left to fend for themselves. Had the Police barricaded the area leading towards the tracks or made such other attempts so as to prevent assembling of people on the active railway line, the event would have passed off peacefully like in all other parts of the country.
It is learnt from the survivors and the eye witnesses that the Chief Guest arrived late by almost an hour which prompted the organisers to defer the actual event of putting the effigies aflame quite contrary to the religious beliefs and the traditions. That delay caused the catastrophe which indignant relatives of the people who lost their lives lament and therefore ask for the stern action both against the local administration, the Chief Guest as well as against the organisers.
People have wondered as to how the event was organised just adjacent to Railway lines and not shifted the venue somewhere else or alternatively should have contacted Railway authorities to suspend the traffic for half an hour or so to enable the event pass off peacefully. That security related lapses are ignored with such criminal negligence is hard to believe and perhaps could be the another instance of its kind where the machine was not at fault but the man was.
It is an irony that even this tragic incident was not spared from baking political loaves and political blame game started immediately after the happening of this tragedy which depicts the levels of politicking in our country. It is hoped that a full fledged inquiry into the heart rending incident would be instituted with instructions to submit its report at the earliest so that the negligent, careless and faulty are identified and punished suitably. The more time it takes, the more will be the intentions of the Punjab government suspect in the eyes of the people.