New Delhi: A day after 60 people celebrating Dussehra lost their lives after a train ran over them on a railway track in Amritsar, Punjab Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said that the accident should not be politicised. “It was a sad and an unfortunate incident. It is necessary to understand that it was an accident. There has been negligence but it was never intentional or motivated,” the Punjab Minister said, after visiting Civil Hospital in Amritsar where injured have been admitted after the tragic mishap. He was accompanied by Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore and hordes of security personnel and officials.
“The accident occurred within a matter minutes when the train came at a high speed. The train did not blow the horn. CM has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he added, assuring all possible help to the victims’ kin from the government and the local administration.
On Friday, Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Dusshera festival function where the tragedy took place near Jora Phatak area of Amritsar city had refused to talk to the media.
Earlier, Navjot Kaur Sidhu had hit back at local leaders for accusing her of indifference. Terming their allegations ‘shameful’, the former MLA said that she had left the site of the mishap 15 minutes before the incident took place and came to know about the deaths after returning home. “Dussehra celebrations are held there every year. People who are doing politics over this incident should be ashamed, she had said.
Following the accident, the railways cancelled 37 trains and diverted 16 trains . Giving details, the railways said 10 mail/express trains and 27 passenger trains were canceled. While 16 trains were diverted and reached their destination through a different route, 18 trains were short terminated, Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said.
The route between Jalandhar and Amritsar was suspended, he said. The railways maintains it had no information about the Dussehra function held near the tracks.