In the aftermath of a terrible accident in Amritsar, Punjab, which has seen more than 60 people die till now during the Dussehra celebration after a train ran over them, former CM of the state, Parkash Singh Badal has pinned the blame on the organizers and chief guest of the event.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on this matter, the ex-SAD President said, "From the situation I have seen, the organizers of this function is to be held blamed. Then there is the talk that the Chief Guest of the event came an hour and a half late. Had she known that the train goes through that area on that very time, and had she not come late, this incident would have been avoided. This is what I understand. Other question is why was the Dussehra function held at this place. The chief guest of that place should have tried to ascertain if it is a proper place or not. I am not talking politically. But there was no permission to hold this function, and I was told that last year there was no such event here. It was totally by some political pressure that this function was held, I don't know about this. But if the chief guest had arrived at the proper time, then Ravana would have burnt on the scheduled time and people would have went."
On Friday evening, during the Ravana effigy burning, a number of people were mowed down by a train in Jod Phatak, Amritsar. The celebration, which was taking place close to the railway tracks, saw over 60 people lose their life, a number which is only expected to increase further.
Following the horrific accident, initial investigations into the matter revealed that the function was being held without any kind of permission from the local authorities, and there was no intimation given to the railways regarding the event.
The chief guest of this event was Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. Eyewitness on the location accused her of reaching for the event late, and leaving the location as soon as the mishap took place.
Though, she had a different account of the events which unfurled. "Now they are informing us that the railways did not slow down the train. The people were comfortably taking selfies on the track. I did not understand what happened. The function proceeded peacefully and I left in my vehicle. I got a call 15 minutes later informing about the incident," Navjot Kaur Sidhu said