Amritsar: A magistrate court on Thursday gave clean chit to Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife in the Amritsar train tragedy that claimed 61 lives.
According to reports, the magisterial inquiry report, prepared by Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner B Purushartha, said that the chief guest could not be held responsible for the lapses at the venue that led to the tragedy.
Sidhu’s former legislator wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Dussehra event held on October 19 when about sixty people were mowed down by a train that hurtled through a crowd, which had spilled onto the railways tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy.
The report further indicted the son a Congress councillor, who organised the Dussehra celebrations, the Amritsar district administration, the municipal corporation, local police and railway employees for the incident.
According to reports, the inquiry report gave Sidhu a clean chit as he was not present in Amritsar that day.
The 300-page magisterial probe report had statements of over 150 people. They included railway officials and Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu.
The railways had initially refused to order a probe, saying it was a case of trespassing and not of negligence by its officials or the loco-pilot. But two weeks after the accident, it said the chief commissioner of Railway safety would probe the tragedy.
Opposition Akali Dal had rejected the institution of a magisterial probe and sought registration of a criminal case against Navjot Kaur Sidhu and the event organisers.