Many Announcements Were Made Before Amritsar Accident: Navjot Kaur

Many Announcements Were Made Before Amritsar Accident: Navjot Kaur

India

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj

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Politics over the accountability of the Amritsar train accident that killed at least 60 people on Friday, 19 October, has begun after a video of the Dussehra event, which was attended by Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife, Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, surfaced on social media.

In the video, that was reportedly shot before the effigy of Ravana was burnt, the organiser addressed Dr Navjot Kaur during his speech and said:

Madam (to Navjot Kaur) look there! People on the (rail) tracks, unafraid! Even if 500 trains pass, over 5,000 people will watch (this event) from the rail tracks!

Also Read : In Pics: Grief And Anger in Amritsar After Train Accident

After the video went viral, Opposition leader and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s president Sukhbir Singh Badal attacked Dr Navjot Kaur and the organisers of the event. He said, “This is an unpardonable negligence… A case of mass murder should be registered against the organisers and action should be taken.”

As the controversy riled up, Dr Navjot Kaur told ANI that multiple announcements were made asking people to get away from the wall where the effigy of Ravana was about to be burnt. She said, “Announcements were made four-five times asking people to come inside the ground.”

Before I arrived, I was told that there were multiple announcements asking people to keep off railway tracks and come inside the boundary wall instead. But people did not pay any heed.     
Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu to ANI

Also Read : Amritsar train tragedy similar to Thalaserry's in 1986

She added, “You have seen the live videos of people standing and recording videos. Then a speeding train arrived and within seconds tragedy struck.”

In another video, the organiser can be seen telling people jokingly, to move away from the tracks. “People who are standing at the railway tracks are aware of the schedule of the trains. They know which train will arrive at what time. Still, trains will not ask you before arriving. So we have to be careful,” the organiser told the crowd from the stage.

The Punjab government has ordered a magisterial inquiry and has asked for a report within four weeks.

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