Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tragedy at Bhangra Blowout

This year's Bhangra Blowout festivities ended in tragedy, as 20 year-old Ranjit Singh was fatally stabbed outside an afterparty for the event, held at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, D.C. The stabbing occurred around 3 a.m., almost an hour after the sold-out party ended according to police.

According to the story from the Washington Post,

after a fight broke out, a 5-foot-8 man of either Hispanic or Indian ethnicity, wearing a white shirt and braces on his teeth, pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed Ranjit Singh, 20, of Phillipsburg, N.J., police said. Two friends of Singh's pursued the attacker until they were stabbed by him at 12th and Pennsylvania, police said. The assailant escaped in a green car, and Singh's two friends were taken to a local hospital.

According to the Post article, and an article in the GW University newspaper the organizers capped party entrance at 1250 people, half the amount from the previous year, and had more security than required by the Old Post Office Pavilion. Partygoers also needed to pass through a metal detector because the pavilion is part of a federal complex. I am not really sure what more the organizers could have done to prevent such a tragedy.

When I was at GW, part of the reason BB was so successful was that fights and other such nonsense was checked at the door so that all could revel in the weekend. It wasn't just about the show or the party, but about people coming together as a group, as one collective, as a sea of sepia youth. Maybe I am just being nostalgic, but we didn't have to worry about being killed.

GWU said it would conduct a full review of Bhangra Blowout and decide if the event should be run differently, or if it should even continue to be held at all.


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