New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a notice to the Punjab government and the Chairman of Railway Board and Ministry of Railways over Amritsar train accident in which 59 people were crushed to death by a DMU (diesel multiple unit) train. The commission has also asked for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.
On October 19 during Dussehra celebrations, nearly 59 people watching Ravana effigy burning on to the tracks at Joda Phatak was crushed to death after the Jalandhar-Amritsar train heading to Hoshiarpur came hurtling down around 7 PM. The district administration had said that out of 59 people who were mowed down by the speeding Jalandhar-Amritsar train, 40 have been identified.
Earlier, Saurabh Madan Mithoo, the organiser of the Dussehra event, had alleged that some people are trying to defame him by making a claim that he was aware of people standing on the railway tracks to watch the Ravana effigy burn and yet did little about it.
Punjab Congress leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was also the chief guest at the Dussehra event, had also claimed that several calls were made to the people asking them to come inside the ground and occupy the empty seats but no one paid heed.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Sidhu had said that there was no stampede and no chances of chaos happening as the Ravan effigy was tied securely. “There were vacant seats at Dhobi Ghat ground. Ravan was tied securely and there were no chances of it falling down and creating chaos. There was no stampede. Announcements were made 4-5 times asking people to come inside Dhobi Ghat ground,” she said.
Meanwhile, protests staged by residents against the Punjab government and the railways after 59 people were killed when a train crushed them as they were watching Dusshera celebrations, turned violent on Sunday leaving a few policemen injured following stone-pelting. The protesters were demanding action against organisers of the Dusshera function.