The failure of police and civil department authorities to maintain a strict vigil over the sale of firecrackers has once again caused big mishap and killed three persons and injured nine on Saturday in a firecracker explosion that took place near a village in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district. It has again exposed that despite repeated directions of various courts to impose a ban on the storing and use of firecrackers without mandatory precautions, it has still been going on.
In the latest incident, the blast took place during a Nagar kirtan — a religious procession — near Pahuwind village, Tarn Taran, when firecracker sparks fell on a tractor-trolley carrying more crackers. Though the exact sequence of events will become clear after the completion of police and civil officers investigations, it has become clear the huge quantity of crackers, which were kept in a tractor-trolley in the procession, caused major destruction. The blast was so powerful that it ripped apart the trolley. Some youngsters, a couple of children and women were on board the tractor-trolley accident happened.
Bursting of firecrackers during ‘Nagar Kirtan’ is a common practice not in Punjab, but in other states also. But the majority of mishaps have been taking place in our state as there is no check. Fearing a religious backlash, cops and civil administration officers do not dare to check the storing of crackers without following mandatory procedure during religious procession despite having directions from the court and their seniors. Officers have never taken serious action to prevent such mishaps, but from their side, the only reaction comes after such big accidents.
But alone cops and other officers can not be blamed as Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Akal Takhat can easily do what the officers can not. Takhat can issue an edict against the bursting of crackers during religious processions and it will definitely be accepted by a large number of followers across globe. SGPC can launch a special campaign to spread awareness against the use of crackers as religious procession should give inner peace to all participants rather than creating troubles.
Both Government and religious authorities should work jointly to prevent such accidents in future to save precious lives.