Monday, 17 February, 2020

Police remove protestors from Amritsar tracks

Police and volunteers carry a victim from the site of a train accident in Amritsar Police and volunteers carry a victim from the site of a train accident in Amritsar
Deanna Wagner | 21 October, 2018, 18:13

Nearly 300 people had gathered to watch ravana-dahan at a ground adjacent to the railway tracks.

Doctors at the Civil Hospital said that the death toll could rise as some of the injured were critical. "We are announcing a magisterial probe into the incident", Singh said. The protestors demanded that the missing person be traced and also adequate compensation should be given to the families of the victims.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, was the chief guest at the event held on Friday. "Moreover, nobody had applied for the permission with the Amritsar Municipal Corporation", said Amritsar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sonali Giri.

Anger turned on Navjyot Kaur Sidhu, a former Punjab State lawmaker who came late for the event and then left just before the accident occurred. While Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal demanded Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation, Bikram Majithia demanded that Navjot Kaur Sidhu be booked. Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Railways), Firozpur Division, S Sudharkar told PTI, "Train services have resumed on the affected rail track (Joda Phatak)".

The Chief Minister would visit the accident spot on Saturday later.

The locals were raising slogans against the state government and demanding action against the train's driver. They know which train will arrive at what time. "Why did the government not ensure proper security arrangements? Why was such a function allowed to take place near the railway tracks?" asked Sujit Singh.

Although Dussehra celebrations were not held on this plot last year, it has been used to celebrate Dussehra for nearly 10 years, said Jeet Singh Bhatia, a corporator whose ward is located next to the ground.

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Relatives of the victims of the train accident mourn at a mass funeral in Amritsar.

Hours after 60 people were crushed to death by a train while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy, the Railways said it was not responsible for the tragedy. Ten mail/express trains and 27 passenger trains were cancelled.

A witness said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the site, where hundreds were watching the burning of an effigy of demon Ravana during the Hindu festival of Dussehra. "The (Dussehra) event took place at a place adjoining the railway land in private property", he said.

"I've been seeing this event every Dusshera from here and this has never happened before, the railways should have stopped or slowed down the train", said Deep Kumari, who watched the festival from the terrace of her house. "The driver couldn't have seen the crowd", he added.

On Sunday, relatives and locals gathered at the accident site and began throwing stones at police, saying there was no help coming for the grief-stricken families. "Condolences go to the families of the deceased".

"Rushing to Amritsar to personally supervise relief and rescue in tragic rail accident on Dussehra in Amritsar".

The families who have lost their loved ones have been ruined and the Sidhus are trying to save themselves, Chinna said, adding that the incident was a "major administrative failure".