In a shocker, the people who died in the horrific Amritsar train massacre on October 19 have been blamed as the reason for the disaster.
As per sources, the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS), which is charged with conducting probes into all railway accidents, had concluded in its inquiry that the reason for the accident is 'the negligence of persons reportedly standing on and near the railway tracks witnessing the Dussehra Mela'.
Further, the CCRS has recommended that prior intimation to Railway administration should be given by the district administration/organisers to hold big events like melas and rallies so that the Railways can take proper precautions in consultation with stakeholders.
The conclusion comes over a month after 60 people were killed in a flash as a train sped past tracks where people were watching a Dussehra rally. The rally had been organised by a close aide of local MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the event. The train running past the location at full speed came just as the Ravan installation was lit on fire, with embers being emitted towards the crowd pushing them further onto the track.
The following day, Republic TV's investigation into the disaster uncovered videos that showed that the organisers of the event were more than aware that there were people sitting on the Railway tracks, and even extolled the fact.
A probe was ordered by the Punjab CM who on the following day visited the hospital where injured persons had been admitted, even as Navjot Singh Sidhu blamed the Railways for the disaster. The driver, in a letter, claimed that he had applied the emergency brakes and had honked at the crowd but the train didn't slow down quick enough avert the disaster. He said he later stopped the train but as it allegedly came under attack from a stone-pelting crowd, he started up again and only stopped at the next station.