Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said action will be taken based on the report of the investigation that is under way into the Amritsar train tragedy, PTI reported. At least 62 people were killed on October 19 during a Dussehra event held near railway tracks in Amritsar when a train drove through the crowd standing on the tracks
The Jalandhar divisional commissioner on Tuesday initiated a probe into the train tragedy. The state government has appointed B Purushartha as special executive magistrate for the inquiry. “The probe I had ordered into the tragic incident is underway and I am waiting for its report to ascertain where the responsibility lies and what action to take,” he said.
Singh has been on a five-day visit to Israel since Monday. The Opposition criticised the chief minister for leaving for Israel in less than 48 hours of the train mishap. However, Singh said the trip was planned a long time ago.
“I definitely considered calling it off in the wake of the train accident,” he told PTI. “I did postpone my departure by a couple of days and spent the whole of Saturday in Amritsar. Even before leaving on Sunday, I spent all my time reviewing the situation and discussing it with my Cabinet colleagues and officials, and left only after being satisfied with the way things were being handled on the ground.”
He said he has been in constant touch with various officials on the ground since he has been in Israel. “If at all I feel the situation warrants, I will naturally leave and get back home without a second thought,” he added.
Meanwhile, the organiser of the event Saurabh Madan Mithu, has denied responsibility of the accident. “I am not at all responsible for the accident as I organised the event within the permitted boundary,” Mithu told ANI. “There was an 8-feet tall boundary wall between the event venue and railway land. People came and stood there. We even made the announcements and told them to move. Nobody realised that those two trains were moving in their direction.”
Around 300 people had gathered near railway tracks in Amritsar on Friday evening for Dussehra celebrations when a train plowed through the crowd standing on the tracks. A second train coming from the opposite direction ran over those who had jumped out of the way of the first train. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was invited as a special guest for the event. She claimed she left the venue before the trains reached the spot but Opposition parties said she left immediately after the tragedy.
The organiser – the family of a Congress councillor – had permission from the Amritsar police but not from the municipal corporation and the health and fire departments.