Amritsar train tragedy: Punjab CM orders magisterial inquiry, seeks report within 4 weeks

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Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that the Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner has been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit the report within four weeks into the Amritsar train tragedy in which 59 people were mowed down by a speeding train while watching burning of Raavana effigy.

The Punjab Chief Minister also said that 59 bodies have been identified while nine are yet to be identified. Besides, 57 other Dussehra revellers were injured as the Jalandhar-Amritsar Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train ran into them at Jora Phatak here.

Amarinder Singh, who reached the accident site on Saturday from Delhi, said the inquiry will look into all aspects, including whether the train followed the signals and if there was any trespassing.

After landing at the Amritsar airport, Singh reached the accident site. He met senior officials and members of the crisis management group and took stock of the relief work. He was accompanied by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Education Minister O P Soni, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, among others.

“It’s a terrible tragedy we all accept it. Inquiry will find out who is at fault and who is not. I cannot prejudge an inquiry. Let them come up with the report. I have given four weeks for the inquiry to be completed,” Singh said, adding that the Railways were also probing the issue.

“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,” Punjab Chief Minister further said.

He said compensation of Rs five lakh each for the families of the deceased had already been announced by the state government. Besides, the government would bear the cost of medical treatments of the injured admitted to different hospitals, he told reporters.

On Friday, around 700 people watching a huge Ravan effigy go up in flames amid exploding crackers spilt on to the tracks at Jora Phatak when the passenger train heading to Hoshiarpur from Amritsar came hurtling down at around 7 pm.

Most people reportedly could not hear the hooting of the train due to loud noise made by the exploding crackers.

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