No Diwali celebrations in this Punjab village as it lost 5 men to a cracker factory incident
“How can we light lamps, burst crackers or distribute sweets on this Diwali, when our village has lost five members,” said the village sarpanch.punjab Updated: Oct 18, 2017 22:26 IST
Amid Diwali celebrations across the country, Dhandori Kalan village, around 25km from Punjab’s Sangrur district, is mourning the death of its five men in a cracker godown blaze incident, which took place on September 19 at Sular Gharat village of the district.
The private godown situated in a residential area near a gurdwara, claimed seven lives. Out of the seven workers, five labourers were from Dhandori Kalan village. Now the residents of the village say ‘they will not light lamps or burst crackers’.
“How can we light lamps, burst crackers or distribute sweets on this Diwali, when our village has lost five members,” said sarpanch Aajib Singh.
The deceased were identified as Gurpayar Singh, 25, Bhupinder Singh, 21, Gursewak Singh, 19, Karamjit Singh, 18 and Gursharan Singh, 24. “The incident has ruined four families in the village. The blaze brought darkness for the whole village” said 40-year-old farmer Gurjit Singh.
Gurjant Singh, 48, who lost two sons Gursharan and Karamjit Singh to the blast, says he is scared of the empty house.
“I had two sons. The cracker factory snatched my both boys. Gursharan was a lyricist and had penned many songs. They had started working in the factory only a few months ago,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, one of the victims, Gurpayar’s wife, Sandeep Kaur, is expecting her third child. “My husband wanted to be a singer and had recorded few songs. He had even planned to go for shopping ahead of Diwali but he left me before the festival.” Now, even the name and sound of crackers irritates me, said Sandeep.
Victim Bhupinder was pursuing his BCA and was working in the godown to meet expenses for his studies. “My son was a good painter and used to decorate walls on every Diwali,” said the victim’s mother Paramjit Kaur, 45.
The state government had announced Rs 1 lakh compensation to victim families but the kin of the deceased are still waiting for the amount. The police had arrested owners of the godown, Pardeep Kumar and Gandhi Ram for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Also,their four remaining godowns have been sealed by the district administration.