Man who played Ravana among killed in train accident

Man who played Ravana among killed in train accident

Punjab Police personnel at the scene of the accident along railroad tracks in Amritsar. PTI photo

The man who played the character of demon king Ravana at the Ram Leela at Joda Phatak was among those killed in the train accident.

After he enacted the role of Ravana, Dalbir Singh, in his twenties, was watching the burning of an effigy from the tracks when he, along with 58 others, was run over by a train.

Dalbir has an eight-month-old daughter.

Unable to control her emotions, Dalbir Singh's mother said her son was playing different characters in the Ram Leela for the past many years.

"My son played the role of Ravana at the Ram Leela, which was held on the ground at Dhobi Ghat adjacent to Joda Phatak...he is no more...He too was run over by the train," the mother said.

Manoj, a friend of Dalbir, said he had been playing the role of Ravana for the past five years at the Ram Leela, which is held at a ground a little distance away from the accident site.

His mother says said that Dalbir's body would not be cremated until the family gets compensation from the government.

Seeking job for the widow of Dalbir Singh, his mother said that the state government should give her a government job so that the family could sustain their livelihood.

"We want is unfortunate that none from the government or any politician has visited the family," she said.

Another friend of Dalbir said that on seeing a speeding train approaching the area, he had rushed towards them to save them.

"Dalbir was able to push 7 to 8 people away from the rail track...but there was something else in store for him as the train ran over him, killing him on the spot," he said.

At least 59 people were killed Friday evening after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by a train near Joda Phatak here.

The incident took place on Friday evening when at least 300 people were watching the 'Ravana dahan' at a ground adjacent to the tracks.

As the effigy was lit and 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.

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