Amritsar, Oct 19. It is negligence of Railways, local administration and Punjab government that killed over 50 persons who were enjoying Ravan Dahan here. the question is why permission was given for the function near Railway track. Secondly, why there was no barricading near the track and why Railways did not make arrangements to slow down or stop trains before reaching the spot where the function was being organised. Then why there was no police arrangement to stop people from going on the track.
A large number of people were watching the Ravan effigy in flames while standing along the railway tracks near at Joda Phatak in Choura Bazar near Amritsar when the train crushed them. Most of those killed are from UP and Bihar.They reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.
A witness told a news channel that as the Ravan effigy went up in flames, people started running when they were crushed by the train on the way to Amritsar from Pathankot.
Witnesses said the dead included children. There were reportedly around 700 people at the accident spot.Area legislator and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Sidhu told a news channel on telephone from Bengaluru that the death toll was alarmingly high.
His wife Navjot Kaur Singh was the Chief Guest at the Dussehra where the incident occurred at around 7 p.m.
Punjab Govt has announced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each deceased & free treatment to injured in Government and private hospitals.
Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi and other top leaders have expressed shock at the incident.