The victims were standing on the railway tracks watching celebrations for Dusshera, a Hindu festival, when a train hit them at high speed on Friday, reported the Indian Express.
Sidhu also asserted that his wife and Punjab Congress leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu immediately rushed to the hospital to attend to victims and it is uncalled for at this moment to indulge in political mudslinging.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the matter. We don't have any confirmation on the numbers who have been impacted by the incident. This statement was corroborated by municipal commissioner Sonali Giri, notes the report. The event's organiser, Dussehra Committee (East) president Saurabh Madan Mithu, allegedly boasted to Navjot Kaur that people would not move.
As the blame game spread, police said they had given permission for the display for the annual Dussehra festival fireworks but that organisers did not have approval from the city, health department and fire brigade.
The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was travelling at 55mph when it reached the scene of the tragedy in Amritsar. "I think if precaution had been taken, the accident could have been averted", he said, adding wherever such events are held, the district administration concerned gives permission. "The probe will cover all aspects of the tragedy", he said.
PM Modi approved a financial relief of Rs 2 lakh for the family of each deceased in the train accident and Rs 50,000 for the injured, reported India's state-run agency PTI. "Near the accident site, there is a railway barrier which is manned by a gateman". Navjot Singh Sidhu, her husband, rubbished the allegations.
The CM also met the injured at three hospitals today.
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Scores of protesters who gathered on the railway tracks condemned the Punjab state government and demanded action against the driver who was questioned by police on Saturday.
In Amritsar, video footage showed the effigy of the demon Ravana had just been lit and firecrackers were going off when the train ploughed into the crowd, who were craning their necks and applauding the show.
"Why did the government not ensure proper security?"
Responding to the DCP, ASI Daljit Singh, SHO, Mohkampura, said that almost 20,000 visitors may throng the venue and the organisers will abide by the Supreme Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court directions relating to traffic management and noise pollution.
Most people reportedly could not hear the train hooter due to the exploding crackers. "I didn't see the train coming".
Witnesses also said that Friday's ceremony was delayed by a few hours because the chief guest was running late, which meant the event ultimately coincided with the train's scheduled arrival.