New Delhi: Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur have been summoned by a one-man commission conducting an inquiry into the Amritsar train tragedy which claimed nearly 59 lives.
Senior IAS officer B. Purushartha, who is conducting the inquiry in Amritsar, has asked the Sidhu couple to appear before the commission on November 2. Navjot Kaur, a former legislator, and the ex-chief parliamentary secretary was the chief guest at the Dussehra festival near Joda Phatak when the DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed those standing on the railway tracks.
Opposition leaders and locals alleged that Navjot Kaur fled the scene after the train mowed down the people. There are allegations that the event was organised without mandatory permissions, which had to be given by the municipal corporation which falls under the local government department headed by Sidhu.
On the allegations being levelled against Congress leader Navjot Kaur Badal, who was the chief guest at the Dussehra event, the Punjab CM had said, “This is not a time for making allegations. The tragedy needs to be dealt with in a proper manner. All parties should come together at this time of grief.”
The main organizer of the event, Saurabh Madan Mithoo, is a close political aide of the Sidhu couple. Mithoo, his family members and other organizers were questioned by the inquiry commission in Amritsar, over 250 km from here, on Tuesday for over four hours.
The commission has been asked to submit its report within four weeks.
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.