The nine-day long festival of Navratri ended on Sunday, October 25 with Dussehra. While the first 9 days are dedicated to Goddess Durga slaying the buffalo-headed demon Mahisasura, the 10th day of Dussehra has origins in another mythology. It is believed that Lord Ram prayed to the Goddess for nine days before he could finally annihilate the evil Raavana on the tenth day.
Festivities surrounding the day has largely remained the same for many years. The demon king Ravana along with his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnad are destroyed in the form of effigies, symbolically representing their victory of good over evil. When men dressed as Ram shoot through the demon’s effigies, it is supposed to be representative of all that is wrong in this world. Largely celebrated in the northern part of India, controlled building of effigies take place along with celebrations of Ram Leela with security personnel managing the crowd that throng to see the spectacle.
One such festive celebration quickly went downhill in Punjab, coming close to a disaster. In a video shared on Facebook, a Ravana effigy can be seen exploding when it gets lit. While the purpose of the celebration is to burn these effigies, this was very clearly an unplanned accident. The firecrackers packed inside the effigy burst out of control, in loud successive explosions.
The incident took place in ground near the DAV school in Batala. As the explosion started, people started running away.Amidst the confusion, a small stampede occurred. Luckily, no one has been reported to being injured.
Here is the video of the unfortunate incident:
According to Punjabi news channel PTC, the event was led by Congress leader and former MLA AshwaniSekhri, who fell to the ground during the chaos and was helped up by locals who had participated in the event.