Amritsar: It’s been almost one year, since the fateful Amritsar train tragedy on Dussehra claimed the lives of at least 59 people. With the events of that tragic night still etched in people’s memories, hundreds of people took to streets in Amritsar on Tuesday to mark the anniversary and demand justice and compensation.
People raised slogans against Navjot Singh Sidhu, their legislator and former Minister, for not keeping the promises made by him after the accident. They were heard shouting ‘Sidhu Murdabad’ (Down with Sidhu) while carrying placards.
In the wake of the tragedy, Navjot Sidhu and his wife had promised to provide government jobs to the relatives of each victim, to adopt children who had lost their earning parents and help widows meet life expenses.
“My father Baldev Kumar who received multiple fractures with severe backbone injuries died five months after the accident. We are still running around to get his name registered in the list of those who died in the tragedy,” Rajesh Kumar was quoted as saying to PTI.
He said they didn’t get any compensation either from the state government or the Centre. People have also alleged that Sidhu and his family were reluctant to meet them or listen to their grievances.
On September 28, around 30 families, whose family members were killed in the train accident last year, staged a protest outside Sidhu’s house demanding him to fulfil the promises he made. The The protesters wanted to know the outcome of a magisterial inquiry into the train tragedy and demanded that responsibility be fixed for the accident and the guilty be punished.
Nearly 59 people died and scores were left injured in the accident between Manawala and Ferozpur stations near Amritsar, when the train ran through the crowd that had assembled across the tracks to watch the Dussehra event on October 19. Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, was the chief guest at the event held on October 19, 2018.
After the train tragedy, the Punjab government had announced Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those who died in the accident.