A day after the driver of the train, which mowed down hundreds of people while killing over 60 in Amritsar on Friday, stated that he tried applying emergency brakes, the eye-witnesses who were present at the location, when the tragic accident took place, have accused him of 'lying'.
"I was at the spot. Leave alone stopping, the train did not even slow down. It seemed as if the driver wanted to mow us down. The train passed us in a matter of seconds. Is it logically possible for us to pelt stones at the train when so many people were dead and injured around us? Is it possible for us to get our bearings after such an incident and pelt stones at a speeding train? The driver is lying," Shailender Singh Shally, Councillor, Ward Number 46, Amritsar, was quoted by PTI as saying.
Another on-looker mentioned that it wasn't possible for anyone present there to pelt stones at the train, given the speed at which it was going. Ajay Goenka, who was present at the spot told PTI:
"As the train passed, I heard people screaming and shouting. There was no stone pelting. I don't understand why the driver would make up such a thing. Will people who are seeing their loved ones lying in pools of blood leave them and pick up stones to hit the train? Anyway, the speed of the train was such that even if people wanted to pelt stones, by the time they collected them, the train would have disappeared from sight. He is lying."
Congress leader and Punjab minister Navot Singh Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest of the function taking place near the tracks, also raked up the train driver in his recent comments. He told ANI:
"Railway engine, police, guards, tracks belong to Centre and FIR also has been lodged by Centre. Driver was given clean chit within 6 hours, why his name hasn't been revealed? Is it possible when a train is approaching guards can't see it?"
On Sunday, the statement by the driver of the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU was accessed by Republic TV, wherein he mentioned that by the time he applied emergency brakes, people had already come under the train. He further added that after he was on the verge of stopping the train, people at the location started to pelt stones, which prompted him to rush the train from the spot fearing the security of the passengers onboard.
The Amritsar train accident has taken the lives of 61 people so far. The incident took place during the burning of Ravan effigy on Dussehra, when a function was taking place near the railway tracks.
(With inputs from PTI & ANI)