No more aartis please, says blast victim's father

No more aartis please, says blast victim's father

Swastika was killed in Tuesday's terror strike that took place at the Sheetla Ghat while the 'aarti' was underway.

"I have lost my daughter, I don't want other Swastikas to die...I personally demand the 'aarti' should not be conducted anymore as authorities have failed to provide proper security arrangements for the ritual that is attended by thousands of people," Sharma, a teacher at a college here, told reporters Thursday.

"I know terrorists are to be blamed for the untimely death of my daughter. At the same time, I feel police and government agencies that are supposed to provide a crime-free atmosphere to the commoners, should equally be blamed for her death," he added.
Sharma, a resident of Tedhi Neem locality, said he would personally meet district and police authorities to press for his demand of not allowing the 'Ganga aarti' along the banks of the river.

"If the authorities would express their inability to stop the age-old tradition immediately, I will ask them to ensure minimum participation of the commoners in the aarti. They can limit the aarti to only one ghat which presently is being performed at over 10 main ghats," Sharma said.

Swastika, a toddler, died Tuesday night during her treatment at the Marwari hospital in Varanasi.Meanwhile, breaking with the tradition, only lamp was lit in the 'Ganga aarti' Wednesday to protest against the balst that injured over 30 people.

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