Updated: September 12, 2015 2:11:19 am
Unprecedented security arrangements in Chandigarh for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made the local cremation ground inaccesible for city residents.
A Kargil veteran who commanded a brigade in Batalik sector during the operations, Brig Devinder Singh (retd), was forced to cremate his son in Mohali cremation ground because of the security restrictions at the Sector 25 cremation ground which was next to the venue of PM’s rally.
The Indian Express team tried to access the cremation ground in Sector 25 and found that it was extremely difficult to reach it due to police barricades and traffic diversions. Staff of a PCR vehicle near Sector 38, candidly admitted that there was no use going to Sector 25 cremation ground because there would be no cremation there till afternoon because of the BJP rally. “All cremations slated there are taking place at Mani Majra or Mohali,” added the the Sub Inspector.
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Further ahead, close to the cremation ground the entry was again closed and the Sub Inspector stationed there was not allowing anyone further, except vehicles for the rally.
The parking of the cremation ground itself was full with cars meant for the rally next door, with a banner giving directions on one of the gates of the ground. The other gate was shut due to security reasons and a posse of policemen were standing guard.
Vijay Kumar, an attendant at the cremation ground said that three cremations slated for Sector 25 this morning were shifted to Mohali, Kishengarh and Mani Majra. This included the cremation of son of Brig Devinder Singh too. All sheds for cremation were empty and not a single cremation was taking place during the time the rally was in progress.
Meanwhile, at the Sector 36 residence of Brigadier Devinder, a steady stream of visitors poured in to condole his son’s death in a road accident in the early hours of Thursday on the Kalka highway. Speaking to The Indian Express, Brig Devinder said that the he had even spoken to the concerned officials regarding cremating his son at Sector 25 but he had been advised to find an alternate location due to security restrictions.
Reacting strongly to the development, Major Guneet Chaudhary (retd), a family friend, lambasted the Chandigarh Administration for the stiffling security arrangements for the PM’s visit.
“This is unprecedented and has never happened before. How can you make the cremation ground virtually out of bounds? The family has been put to much trouble and now have to go all the way to Mohali to cremate their son,” he said.
The Chandigarh Administration had put out a route map of roads to avoid and the ones which could be taken. Sector 25 cremation ground had been shown to be approachable in these directions but on ground the situation was otherwise.
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