Train services partially resume in Amritsar; protesters booked

Monday, 22 Oct, 2018

A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India on Friday evening, killing more than 50 people and injuring dozens more, police said.

On Saturday, after visiting the accident site and the hospitals where the injured were admitted, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said 59 people were killed and 57 injured.

"Action will be taken against those responsible for the tragedy once the inquiry report comes".

"This tragedy did not occur within the four walls of the site", Sidhu said. "There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated", Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said on Saturday.

The crowd had gathered on railway tracks in the city of Amritsar in Punjab state to watch a fireworks show marking the Dussehra festival when the train barreled down the line at high speed.

"It's a awful tragedy, we all accept it".

"Keeping all these facts into account, there was no possibility of a free and fair inquiry by a magistrate who was reporting to cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu and his family", the committee stated. I can not prejudge an inquiry.

The train was running at its assigned speed and initial reports suggest that the driver applied brakes and the train slowed down, he said.

Railway officials said no permission was sought from them either and ruled out an inquiry by the department into what they said was the worst accident due to "trespass" on railway tracks. "This is not the time for making allegations".

Anju, whose brothers Vikas and Ninderpal were killed in the incident, accused leaders of indulging in politics over this incident. Many of them stood on the tracks close to the Jaura Phatak crossing to get a better view and were taking videos of the burning Ravan as the first of the trains, 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU, ran them over.

Almost 150 people, most of who were watching the burning of effigies or were recording the event on their mobile phones, were mowed down by the train. The railway said that it had no intimation of the Dusshera event near the railway tracks.

The Group, constituted by the Chief Minister on Friday night, has Revenue Minister Sukbinder Singh Sarkaria and Forest Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot as its members, and is closely monitoring the situation and supervising the relief efforts.

He said he was at the Delhi airport, ready to leave for Tel Aviv, when he heard of the incident and rushed back after postponing his Israel visit.

"District authorities have been mobilised on war footing", he tweeted. The protestors demanded that the missing person be traced and also adequate compensation be given to the families of the victims.

He said two little girls he met in the hospital had lost their entire families in the accident.