Amritsar: The Railway Department on Saturday shrugged off its responsibility in the train mishap which took place in Joda Phatak tracks near Dhobi Ghat here last night during burning of the effigy of ‘Ravan’ and left 61 dead and over 75 hurt.
In a statement released by the Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar this morning, he outrightly rejected the role of railway authorities’ negligence in the incident. He said the piece of land where the event was being held is not owned by the Railway Department.
Taking a tough stance in the incident, Kumar also claimed that, the horn of the passenger train was properly working and the driver of the locomotive also applied brake to a certain extent to avoid the accident. However, he maintained that applying sudden brake could have resulted in an accident causing harm to the passengers.
Blaming the administration and organisers of the event the official for the mishap Kumar informed that, though his department had not been informed on the ‘Rava Podi’ still the gates at a manned level crossing located nearby were closed.
Meanwhile, at least 8 trains on the route have been cancelled following the incident and several others have been diverted.
Notably, the ‘Ravan Podi’ event held by Congress was being attended by Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu who had left the site minutes before the tragedy struck.
The injured have been admitted to Amritsar Civil hospital and the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital where the conditions of a number of them remain critical.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh visited Amandeep Hospital in Amritsar a short while ago to meet some of the injured and take stock of their health.