Amritsar, Oct 22 (PTI) The Punjab Congress Monday demanded a transparent probe into the Amritsar train tragedy that claimed nearly 60 lives, as it stepped up attack against the Railways for “running away” from an investigation.
Nearly 60 persons had died here after being mowed down by a train while watching the Dussehra celebrations from across the tracks on Friday evening.
“We are demanding a transparent probe in Amritsar train tragedy by Indian Railways. Why they are running away from probe? They themselves are creating suspicion that they are trying to save somebody,” Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said while addressing media here.
Jakhar questioned how a “clean chit” was given to the loco-pilot of the train, which ran over nearly 60 people watching a Dussehra event in Amritsar and leaving scores of others injured.
“The haste in which they gave the clean chit to the driver raises suspicion,” he said.
Jakhar wondered why Commission of Railway Safety did not initiate any probe into the accident.
“May be this is the first case in the country where Commission of Railway Safety is not holding any inquiry. In the normal course, every train related accident is probed,” Jakhar said.
He said the probe by the Railways could highlight why the loco-pilot was running train at a high speed.
Jakhar, who is also Gurdaspur MP alleged that the loco-pilot did not bother to slow down the train when a large number of people were standing on rail tracks.
He rubbished the reported loco-pilot’s version that he had applied emergency break and slowed down the train but crowd resorted to stone pelting and he again sped it up to save passengers.
Jakhar also targeted the Government Railway Police, saying they did not take notice of the crowd present at the railway tracks.
Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had already said there was no negligence on part of the Railways.
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was accompanied by Jakhar at a press conference, accused the railway gateman of giving green signal to train despite the presence of large number of people at railway tracks.
He alleged that the railways even did not bother to question loco-pilot and conducted his medical check-up “which indicated that all the circumstantial evidences were destroyed in order to save him”.
Sidhu also showed a video of some DMU train, saying it usually runs at low speed to press his point that the ill-fated DMU on Friday evening was running at high speed.
Sidhu had on Sunday targeted the Indian Railways, raising several questions about its functioning and asked how a “clean chit” was given to the loco-pilot of the train.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.