At Least 61 Dusshera Revelers Dead As Train Runs Over In AmritsarOctober 20, 2018 11:37
(Image source from: FinancialExpress.Com)
At Least 61 Dusshera Revelers Dead As Train Runs Over In Amritsar:- In a terrible disaster, at least 61 people watching the Ravan effigy on Friday lost their lives and 72 got injured when a speeding train mowed them down.
The accident took place near Joda Phatak area of Amritsar where a large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy in flames standing along the railway tracks when the train crushed them, which was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar.
The Punjab and Railway Police on Saturday questioned the driver of a train.
Punjab Police officials said that the DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) driver had been detained at the Ludhiana railway station and was being questioned regarding the incident.
Sources said that the driver claimed that he was given a green signal and all clear and had no idea that hundreds of people were standing on the tracks when the train crossed the area. No action has up to now been initiated against the organizers, who are leaders of the ruling Congress in Punjab, of the Dusshera event. Police sources said that the organizers had gone underground.
Railway officials were as well gathering information from the railway linemen posted along the tracks near the Jora Phatak area who failed to inform the DMU driver regarding the presence of more than 700 people on the railway tracks who were watching the burning of the Ravan and other effigies during Dusshera celebrations.
The victims reportedly could not perceive the whistling of the train due to the exploding crackers. Witnesses said the dead included children.
Railway authorities in Amritsar and in New Delhi defended themselves saying that they had not been informed about the Dusshera event at that spot and the local police did not prevent the people from coming on the live and busy railway tracks.
Meanwhile, senior political figures including Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore and Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited the injured in hospitals in Amritsar on Saturday. Badnore arrived early on Saturday and met the injured at the Guru Nanak Dev government hospital.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday night announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to those who died in the incident.