Amritsar (Punjab): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Monday alleged that the Punjab government is on a major “mission cover-up” in the Amritsar train tragedy in which at least 62 people standing on the railway tracks watching the Ravan dahan on the Dhobi Ghat grounds died after a train mowed them down.Also Read - Punjab Assembly Elections 2022: Shiromani Akali Dal Announces First List of 64 Candidates. Full List Here
In an apparent attack at Congress leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at the Dussehra event, the SAD chief said that senior leaders who organised the event ran away after the accident. Sukhbir Badal said, “They are on mission coverup, there is no remorse, no regret and no seriousness in Punjab government. CM is abroad, senior leaders who organized the event ran away after the accident. It is very unfortunate.” Also Read - SAD Chief's Car Attacked, 4 Injured; Sukhbir Badal Escapes Unhurt, Stages Dharna
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The SAD core committee had on Sunday demanded the “immediate sacking” of Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, the murder case against his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu and the organisers of the Dussehra event in connection with the Amritsar train tragedy in which 62 people lost their lives. The SAD alleged that Navjot Sidhu ran away from the mishap site without bothering for the victims.
Rejecting all the allegations, the Congress leader had said that she had left the event 15 minutes before the incident took place and came to know about the deaths after reaching home. Sidhu further said that she left for the hospital as soon as she was intimidated of the tragedy. She had also claimed that being a doctor herself, she had even personally treated some of the victims, besides arranging for some more doctors to attend on them.
“I called the Police Commissioner and I asked if I should come back, but he said there was way too much chaos. So I decided that I should at least save the ones who were injured, and take them to the hospital for treatment,” a leading portal quoted Navjot Kaur Sidhu as saying.
Blaming the Indian Railways for not issuing directions regarding the movement of trains near the tracks, she said, “We burnt the Ravana effigies at six places today. Most of them were near the railway track. They (railway authorities) should have at least issued directions to slow down the speed of the train. Such a big mistake.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu, however, refused to act on the SAD’s demands for his dismissal and lodging of an FIR against his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu over the Amritsar train accident. In a curt reply to media’s questions on SAD’s demands, Sidhu said, “Anything else, anything else, anything else… No comments.”