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Amritsar Accident: Not the Time for Tu Tu-Main Main, Wait 4 Weeks for Inquiry Report: CM Amarinder Singh

When pressed about the action taken and fixing of responsibility, Singh said this was not the time for blame game.

Updated:October 20, 2018, 9:32 PM IST
Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh arrived here on Saturday to take stock of the situation nearly 16 hours after at least 58 people were crushed to death by a train while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy.

The Chief Minister, accompanied by Punjab Congress President and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, arrived on a special flight from New Delhi. He held a meeting with senior officers of the district administrations, cabinet ministers and Congress legislators.

In a press conference following the meeting, a combative chief minister said he had ordered an inquiry into the accident and the report was awaited in four weeks. “It is necessary for us to hold an investigation. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and the report will be given in four weeks,” Singh said.

When pressed about the action taken and fixing of responsibility, Singh said this was not the time for blame game. “It’s a tragedy and we are in grief. The inquiry will find out who is to blame. Till then, we can’t blame anybody. This is not the time for tu-tu, main-main. This needs to be dealt with in a proper manner,” he said.

Asked by it took him 16 hours to visit Amritsar, Singh said he was on his way to Israel when news of the accident reached him at Delhi airport. “But now we are all here. Three ministers will be here to oversee the relief operations.”

On Friday evening, a 700 strong crowd watching a huge Ravana effigy go up in flames amid exploding crackers spilled on to the tracks at Jora Phatak area when the Jalandhar-Amritsar Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar came hurtling down at around 7 p.m.

Most people reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to the exploding crackers.

In just 10-15 seconds it left behind a heap of crushed and dismembered bodies.

Following the accident, the railways cancelled 37 trains, diverted 16 trains, short terminated 12 trains and short originated six trains on the route

Railway authorities have said that the tragedy was not their responsibility as the organisers and local authorities had not informed them about the event being held so close to the railway tracks.

Senior railway officials said here that the presence of so many people, who were watching the function, on the railway tracks was a "clear case of trespassing".

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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