Amritsar train tragedy: Blame game still on, grief-stricken people left behind


At least 59 people were killed and 72 injured when a speeding train ran over a crowd of Dussehra revelers that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching Ravana's effigy going up in flames.

Distraught family of a 13-year-old, who died in the Amritsar train accident, staged a protest at the Amritsar-Jalandhar highway on Saturday.

Ashwani Lohani, the chairman of the Railway Board, said it was "wrong" to hold the railways responsible for what had happened because they had not been made aware of the event, and people "are not expected to be on the tracks".

The police booked unidentified protesters who clashed with them on Sunday morning as the police began clearing the railway tracks in the area.

The Punjab police has deployed its personnel, including commandoes, to manage the crowd. The Rapid Action Force is also present in the Joda Patak area.

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Numerous victims were dismembered beyond recognition and police said it would take several days to complete the identification of the dead.

The negligence that led to the Amritsar tragedy was also the reason behind the Thalaserry train accident.

It has also dismissed the magisterial probe ordered by the state government as a "tailor-made inquiry". We don't have any confirmation on the numbers who have been impacted by the incident.

Security on high alert as the first train passes by before resumption of railway services since the train accident, in Amritsar on Sunday. The event's organiser, Dussehra Committee (East) president Saurabh Madan Mithu, allegedly boasted to Navjot Kaur that people would not move.

The festival organisers had that year forgotten to inform the railway authorities about the Sri Jagannatha Temple festivities and the accompanying fireworks.

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The train failed to stop after the accident on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state, according to Congress party politician Pratap Singh Bajw, The Guardian reports.

Asked if there were any lapses on the part of the railways, Amarinder said the probe will look into the matter, and will ascertain whether approvals for holding the function were given or not.

The accident took place near Amritsar when a train ran through the crowd that had assembled across the tracks to watch the burning of the effigy of Ravana on Dussehra event. "As far as fixation of responsibility of non-Railway sphere is concerned, you have heard the categorical statements from the Chief Minister to have a time bound four-week inquiry to pinpoint blame and fix responsibility". Majithia had accused Navjot Kaur Sidhu of running away from the mishap site, alleging that she had left the venue without bothering for the victims.

The protestrers were demanding action against organisers of the Dusshera function near Joda Phatak for which hundreds of people had gathered to see the burning of the Ravan effigy.

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