Amritsar Tragedy: Over 60 Killed, Political Blame-Game Continues
Over 60 people were killed near Amritsar's Joda Phatak on Friday, 19 October, after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto the railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by an incoming train.
The incident sparked massive protests, with various people staging a sit-in on the tracks and clashing with security personnel.
Over 40 hours after the shocking incident, protesters were cleared off the tracks and services resumed on the afternoon of Sunday, 21 October.
- The incident sparked a political blame-game, with the SAD demanding the resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu
- CM Amarinder Singh announced a magisterial inquiry into the accident, a report of which will be furnished in four weeks
- “I saw a crowd of people around the track and immediately applied emergency brakes,” said the train’s driver in his statement
Will Adopt Children Who Lost Parents In Amritsar Tragedy: Navjot Sidhu
Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced that he would adopt all the children who had lost their parents.
"In my personal capacity I and my wife hereby announce the adoption of all the children who have lost their parents. Their education in good institutions and all other expenses will be borne by us. Women who have lost their husbands will also be extended all required finical help," Sidhu said.
Piyush Goyal Returns From US
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal returned from the US on Monday, two days after 62 Dussehra revellers watching the burning of a Ravana effigy on the tracks near Amritsar were mowed down by a train.
"The minister had rushed to the airport but there were no tickets available. He really tried his best to get back. In the meantime, he has been briefing us, guiding us and monitoring the situation on the ground continuously," a senior official said.
Upon his return early on Monday, Goyal participated in an event organised by NITI Aayog.
Case Filed in Bihar Court Against Sidhu's Wife
A complaint case was filed on Monday against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife, seeking registration of a case against her for failing to discharge her duties that led to the death of nearly 60 people in a train accident in Amritsar on Friday.
The complaint claimed that Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at a Dussehra function in Amritsar, and the organisers were solely responsible for the incident and the court should therefore take cognizance of the matter and order a trial against her. Four persons from Bihar were killed in the tragic incident.
NHRC Issues Notices to Punjab Government, Railway Board
The NHRC on Monday issued notices to the Railways and the Punjab government over the Amritsar accident in which 62 Dussehra revellers were killed when they were run over by a train while watching the festivities.
Issuing the notices, the Commission observed that it cannot be said to be a "sane act" by people to sit on railway tracks, but at the same time, the "negligence on the part of the district authorities is apparent" behind this "bizarre and horrific incident".
Why Was Driver's Name Not Disclosed: Navjot Sidhu
Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu on Monday questioned why the identity of the driver of the locomotive that mowed down over 62 poeple in a train acident was being kept hidden.
“The railway engine, police, guards, tracks... belong to Centre and FIR has also been lodged by the Centre. The driver was given clean chit* within six hours... why his name hasn’t been revealed? Is it possible when a train is approaching guards can’t see it?”Navjot Sidhu, Congress, to ANI