Amritsar Tragedy: Over 60 Killed, Political Blame-Game Continues

Over 60 people were killed near Amritsar's Joda Phatak on Friday, 19 October, after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled onto the railway tracks while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy was run over by an incoming train.

The incident sparked massive protests, with various people staging a sit-in on the tracks and clashing with security personnel.

Over 40 hours after the shocking incident, protesters were cleared off the tracks and services resumed on the afternoon of Sunday, 21 October.

  • The incident sparked a political blame-game, with the SAD demanding the resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu
  • CM Amarinder Singh announced a magisterial inquiry into the accident, a report of which will be furnished in four weeks
  • “I saw a crowd of people around the track and immediately applied emergency brakes,” said the train’s driver in his statement

Rescue Operations Underway, Several Stuck Under Debris

Several people are stuck under the debris. Rescue operations are underway.

Delhi CM Appeals for Help, Home Minister Asks Senior Authorities to Rush to the Spot

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, posted an “appeal to all our volunteers... to help the authorities”.

Railways Issues Statement

The accident occurred at gate no. 27 between Amritsar & Manawala. As Dussehra celebration was taking place some incident had occurred and people started rushing towards closed gate number 27 while a DMU train number 74943 was passing the closed gate: CPRO Northern Railway.

Rushing to Amritsar, Rs 5 Lakh Announced as Compensation to Kin of Deceased: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. (R) Amarinder Singh is rushing to the accident site. He has announced a compensation of “Rs 5 Lakh to the kin of each deceased and free treatment to injured”.

Driver of the Train Did Not Sound the Horn Before Approaching the Crossing: Eyewitness

"The people watching the burning Ravana effigy near the Jora Phatak feared that debris from the effigy might fall on them. Fearing this, the people standing close to the effigy started to retreat towards the railway tracks behind them. At this moment, a train ran into at least 100 people standing on the tracks. The driver of the train did not sound the horn before approaching the crossing, hence leading to the mishap." - Eyewitness

Accident Spot

PM Modi, President Kovind & Congress President Rahul Gandhi Offer Condolences

Death Toll is "Definitely More Than 50-60: Police Commissioner SS Srivastava

CM Amarinder Singh Says Inquiry Will Be Held Into Accident

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring care for those injured.

"We will do everything possible to assist the injured. Have directed the district administration to leave no stone unturned to ensure the best possible treatment for them." - Amarinder Singh, CM, Punjab

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal Offers Condolences

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal offered condolences and said that the Railways was conducting relief and rescue operations in earnest.

Navjot Singh Sidhu to Visit Accident Site Tomorrow

In a statement to India Today, Navjot Singh Sidhu said the incident was an irreparable loss. He added that he was devastated, especially since it happened in his constituency. Sidhu added that he will reach Amritsar by 7 am tomorrow.

MoS Railways Manoj Singh and Railway Board Chairman En Route to Accident Site

"The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Singh and other concerned authorities are on the way and they will reach the site tonight. This is a terrible tragedy." - Smita Vats, ADG, PR

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Singh and Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani are rushing to the accident site.

Navjot Kaur Says She Left the Site Before the Accident

"Why would we tell people to stand on the tracks? They’re our own people. I left before the accident took place. People were standing on the tracks and taking selfies. I left as soon as the effigy had been set ablaze. I wasn’t there when the accident took place." - Navjot Kaur, Congress Leader, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife

Navjot Kaur, Congress leader and Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife, refuted reports that said she left the spot after the accident, clarifying that she had left before the incident took place. She added that she had left as soon as the Ravana effigy had been set ablaze.

CNN Claims Two Trains Were Involved in Accident, Northern Railways Refutes Report

The Northern Railways’ CPRO refuted media reports that there were two trains involved in the acciednt. This after CNN News18 reported that the accident took place when people saw a train coming, and ran away to avoid it, only to be mowed down by another speeding train.

"“The Operations Incharge at the accident site in Amritsar has told me that only one train was passing from the area. We have issued helpline numbers. " - CPRO, Northern Railways, to ANI

Rescue Continues at Accident Site, Those Injured Being Treated at Civil Hospital

Police carry casualties of the Amritsar train accident, even as rescue operations continue in earnest.
Kin of those injured or killed in the accident wait to hear news about their family.
Visuals from Civil Hospital in Amritsar where those injured in the train accident are being brought for treatment. (Photo: ANI)

'Now is Not the Time For Blaming, We Need to Work Together'

Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said, in a statement to CNN News18, “It's a very sad incident. My heart goes out to the relatives of the victims. Now is not the time to portion blame. We have to ensure this never ever happens again.”

He added, “We don’t value human lives. That’s the problem. Despite many reports warning about the risks, we don’t take action.”

MoS Railways Manoj Sinha: No Permission Sought for Effigy Burning Near Tracks

"I think people didn’t hear the train because of the sound of fireworks. This is a terrible tragedy. Those injured will be treated. I don’t want to make this a political blame game." - Manoj Sinha, MoS, Railways to India Today

Manoj Sinha, MoS, Railways, in a statement to India Today, said that they had received no request for the effigy burning near the railway tracks and added he doesn’t want to turn the accident into a political blame game. He is currently en route to the incident and voiced the state’s full support to the victims.

State & Central Govt Should Work Together To Provide Medical Relief: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the most important thing now was to provide relief to the victims. He added that the state and central governments should join hands to provide medical relief to the victims.

Indian Railways Releases Helpline Numbers

Indian Railways issues helpline numbers for the Amritsar accident. Helpline telephone numbers at Manawala station:

  • Railways -73325
  • BSNL - 0183-2440024
  • Power Cabin ASR - Rly - 72820
  • BSNL - 0183-2402927
  • Vijay Sahota,SSE: 7986897301
  • Vijay Patel, SSE: 7973657316

Railway Crossing Wasn't Barricaded, Security Officials Were Busy Protecting Sidhu's Wife: Reports

The railway crossing where the accident took place wasn’t barricaded or closed off, and the security personnel were busy since they’d been deployed to protect Sidhu’s wife, India Today reported.

Piyush Goyal: Cancelling All Engagements & Returning to India

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has cancelled all engagements in the US and is immediately returning to India, ANI reported.

BS Majithia: Blame Starts at the Top for This Accident

Akali Dal leader BS Majithia said that Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife’s presence was the reason the accident took place, stating that “responsibility must start at the top, not from the bottom.”

He added that, “witnesses from the scene blamed Navjot Kaur Sidhu saying that she had arrived late, and the programme had to be delayed for her.”

People Who Want to Donate Blood Should Arrive at the Civil Hospital: Punjab Govt

People who want to donate blood should arrive at the Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Hospital in Amritsar, the Punjab Government’s Public Relations department said.

CM Amarinder Singh Announces Day of State Mourning Tomorrow, Set Up of Crisis Centers

“The state will remain in mourning tomorrow in view of the Amritsar train accident. All offices & educational institutions will remain closed,” CM Amarinder Singh announced. He added that he had ordered an inquiry into the accident and set up crisis centers under the Punjab Health & Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra’s oversight.

PM Announces Rs 2 Lakh Compensation to Kin of the Dead & Rs 50,000 to Those Injured

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2 lakh compensation for the family of those deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured in Amritsar train accident.

We Promise Support, But State Govt is Responsible for Ensuring Medical Care, Says Health Minister

In a statement to CNN News18, Health Minister JP Nadda said, “Whatever support you need from us, we're there to help you. But it is the state's responsibility to call hospitals and tell them not to turn people away. It is also for the state to do whatever's necessary.”

'Approximately 60 Injured Treated So Far'

Approximately more than 60 injured people including children have received medical treatment till now, doctors at Amritsar said.

“Approximately more than 60 injured people including children have received medical treatment till now. Most people have suffered orthopedic injuries, abrasions, head trauma and eye injuries,” Dr Sandeep, Emergency Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Amritsar said.

Trains Between Amritsar-Jalandhar Suspended

All services on Jalandhar-Amritsar route remained suspended three hours after Dussehra revellers standing across railway tracks were mowed down by a train near Amritsar Friday evening, a railway official told PTI.

RJD Leader Tejashwi Yadav Condoles Deaths

State Health Secretary Enroute Amritsar

Union Health Ministry Secretary Preeti Sudan has spoken to Punjab Principal Health Secretary Satish Chandra, ANI reported. He is proceeding to Amritsar. Health Minister has asked PGI Chandigarh to remain on alert.

Health Min JP Nadda Takes Congnisance of Event

Union Health Minister JP Nadda has spoken to Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, and taken cognisance of the tragedy, reported ANI.

Northern Railways Helpline Numbers

Northern Railways issues helpline numbers at New Delhi railway station for #Amritsar accident: 01123342954, 01123341074, 01142622280 & 1072- 4 lines, Railway no. 22280.

Trains Diverted

13 trains shortly terminated, 5 trains short originated, 6 trains cancelled & 2 trains diverted following the Amritsar train accident, CPRO Northern Railways told ANI.

Punjab Governor Promises Inquiry

Speaking to ANI, Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore said:

“This is very unfortunate incident.Inquiry will be done and those who need to be punished will be punished and accountability will be fixed. I'm here to ensure that proper medical aid is provided to injured.”

'Clear Case of Trespassing', No Permission Given for Event: Railway Officials

The gathering of people close to tracks near Amritsar where a train mowed down Dussehra revellers was a "clear case of trespassing" and no permission for the event had been given by the railways, a senior official told PTI.

Seeking to shift the blame for the tragedy on the Amritsar administration, official sources said the local authorities were aware about the Dussehra programme and that it was attended a senior minister's wife.

"We're not kept in the loop and we provided no permission for the event. It is a clear case of trespassing and the local administration should take responsibility," the railway official said.

Amritsar Mortuary Could Fall Short of Space, Says Punjab Health Minister

Commenting on the gravity of the tragedy, Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, said that Amritsar’s mortuary might run out of space. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mahindra said:

"“The tragedy is so grave that Amritsar may fall short of space in mortuaries to keep the bodies.”"

Two Trains Mowed Down People: Report

According to an Indian Express report, two trains crossed the area within a few seconds of each other, killing the people who were standing on the tracks. Quoting a senior railway official, the report states that the first train 74643 Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU encountered maximum casualties.

The second train, 13006 Amritsar-Howrah Express, sped past by a few seconds later on the adjoining track, killing those who had jumped on to it to escape the first train.

Navjot Singh Sidhu Reaches Hospital to Meet the Injured

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar, where the injured have been admitted after the accident.

Railway Board Chairman Visits Site of Accident

Chairman of the Railway Board Ashwani Lohani visited the site of the accident on Saturday.

Earlier, Lohani had said that it would be wrong to hold the Railways responsible for the accident.

"“It would be wrong to say that Railways is responsible for this accident. There are two manned level-crossings on that track, both were closed. It is the main line. There is no speed restriction there. The Railway administration was not informed about the Dussehra celebrations near the mainline. People were watching Dussehra celebrations from railway tracks, that is not the place to watch the programme.”" - Lohani, as quoted by ANI

"People need to be more alert; they must not trespass on railway tracks," he added. People were watching the Ravana effigy burning from the tracks which are on a height to get a better view.

Accident Wasn't Motivated: Navjot Singh Sidhu

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu met the injured and families of the victims at Amritsar’s Civil Hospital. In a statement, Sidhu said, “it was a sad and an unfortunate incident, but it is necessary to understand that it was an accident. There has been negligence but it was never intentional or motivated.”

He added: “The accident occurred within a matter of seconds as the train came at a high speed. The train did not blow the horn. CM has ordered an investigation into the incident.”

Train Services Affected

Eight trains have been cancelled, five have been diverted, 10 trains short-terminated and 5 trains short-originated today following the accident last night, ANI reported.

DMU Driver Detained, Questioned

Punjab Police officials told IANS that the DMU (diesel multiple unit) driver had been detained at the Ludhiana railway station and was being questioned regarding the incident.

According to IANS, the driver claimed that he was given green signal and all clear and had no idea that hundreds of people were standing on the tracks when the train crossed the area.

No action has so far been initiated against the organisers of the event, who are leaders of the ruling Congress in Punjab. Police sources said that the organisers had gone underground.

Railway officials were also gathering information from the railway linemen posted along the tracks near the Jora Phatak area who failed to inform the DMU driver regarding the presence of over 700 people on the railway tracks.

(IANS)

Railways Was Not Intimated About the Accident: Chairman Lohani

The railways was not intimated about a Dussehra event along the tracks,Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a statement to PTI.

He told PTI that the accident occurred at a stretch between two stations - Amritsar and Manawala - and not at a level crossing.

Lohani added that the gateman was 400 metres away at a level crossing. He also said that if the driver had applied emergency breaks, there could have been a bigger tragedy.

He said that the train was running at its assigned speed and initial reports suggest that the driver applied brakes and the train slowed down.

"There was no information and no permission sought from us. The event was at a place adjoining the railway land in private property," he said, adding that people had trespassed on to the railway line.

Actor Who Played Ravan in a Ramleela in Amritsar Dead in Train Accident

One Dalbir Singh, who played the role of Ravan in a Ramlila in Amritsar during Dussehra celebrations, died in the train accident yesterday, ANI reported.

His mother appealed to the government to provide a job to her deceased’s son wife.

"I appeal to the government to provide a job to my daughter-in law. She also has a 8-month old baby," she was quoted by ANI as saying.

Eyewitnesses Recall Details of Tragic Accident

Eyewitnesses who live near the site of the accident recalled the events leading up to the train incident.

While the Ravan effigy was being burnt the people who lived in homes across the railway tracks stood on it to watch. Two trains were involved in the accident, eyewitnesses told The Quint.

"First a train came from Amritsar railway station. The speed was slow so people moved out of the way. Then the second train that came was very fast and people didn't have time to move," an eyewitness said. Onlookers corroborated the account.

State of Mourning and Loss at Amritsar's Civil Hospital

The emergency ward in Amritsar Civil Hospital.
The emergency ward in Amritsar Civil Hospital.
The emergency ward in Amritsar Civil Hospital.

In Amritsar Civil Hospital, the mood is one of mourning as it is in the state. Of the 61 dead, 39 bodies are here.

'Have Lost my Sister, Brother-in-Law, and Nephews': Kin of Deceased

“I have lost my sister, brother-in-law and my nephews,” a grieving man told the Quint, while standing outside the post-mortem room in Amritsar civil hospital.

Several Trains Cancelled, Terminated a Day After Train Accident

Ten mail express trains and 27 passenger trains have been cancelled in Amritsar. Sixteen trains have been diverted, while ten mail express trains and 2 passenger trains short terminated, ANI reported.

Russian PM Offers Condolences to Accident Victims

Russia President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the victims of the train accident.

“I offer my deepest sympathies over tragic consequences of an accident on railways in Punjab. I ask to convey my words of sympathy and support to families and friends of those killed and wish soonest recovery to those injured,” he said.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Arrives in Amritsar

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh arrived in Amritsar on Saturday to take stock of the situation. He was briefed on the relief and rehabilitation measures taken in the wake of the accident.

Punjab CM Meets Victims of Train Accident at Hospital

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh visited the Amandeep Hospital in Amritsar to meet the victims of the train accident. He then went to civil hospital to meet the victims. CM SIngh has ensured full support to the victims.

'We are All Disturbed': Kin of Deceased Express Grief

Harinder Yadav, a migrant labourer from Bihar told The Quint about the grim situation after the tragedy.

“We are all disturbed. We have not eaten anything and we feel very uneasy,” he said, while waiting to receive the body of his family member.

Bereaved Parents Stage Protest with Son's Body

The family of 13-year-old boy who died in the train accident staged a protest with his body at Amritsar-Jalandhar highway, demanding compensation for their loss.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Orders Magisterial Inquiry, Seeks Report in 4 Weeks

LIVE: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Addresses Media After Visiting the Accident Site in Amritsar

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Addresses Media After Visiting the Accident Site in Amritsar

Posted by The Quint on Saturday, October 20, 2018

In his address to the media a day after the accident, he announced that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered and a report will be furnished within four weeks.

“59 people killed and 57 people were injured in the incident. We will try that postmortem of the bodies are done as soon as possible. We have identified most of the bodies except 9,” CM Singh said.

He also ordered an immediate release of Rs 3 crore to DC Amritsar for payment of ex-gratia to the families of the deceased. Rs 5 lakh has been promised to the family of those killed, medical treatment will be free of cost as well.

“It’s a tragedy we are in grief. The inquiry will find out who is at fault, we cannot blame anybody let the report come,” CM Singh added.

CM Amarinder Singh Visits Accident Site

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visited the site of the accident around noon on 20 October.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visited the site of the accident around noon on 20 October.

Canadian PM, UN Chief, Pakistan's PM, Condole Accident

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan, and United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres condoled the accident on Twitter.

Wall Separates Dussehra Site and Railway Track: Northern Railways

Northern Railways said in a statement that the railway track is separated by a boundary wall from public ground at the site of the accident, ANI reported.

“Gate No. C-27 is a manned level crossing gate and it was closed for road traffic for passing the above DMU train. It is further informed that there is about 2.5 meter high brick wall between the railway track and the Ravan Dahan site,” the statement read.

Organisers of Dussehra Event Had Informed Police About Gathering

Amid allegations that local authorities were not aware of the Dussehra event, the committee has released letters it wrote to the police seeking security arrangements for the Dussehra celebrations, ANI reported.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Daljeet Singh reverted that police had no objections for the same.

No Stampede, People Had Been Told to Enter Dhobi Ghat: Navjot Kaur Sidhu

Navjot Kaur Sidhu said that there had been no stampede, and that the Dussehra revellers had been cautioned to come inside the Dhobi Ghat ground near the tracks.

"There were vacant seats at Dhobi Ghat ground. Ravan was tied securely & there were no chances of it falling down & creating chaos. There was no stampede. Announcements were made 4-5 times asking people to come inside Dhobi Ghat ground." - Navjot Kaur Sidhu

Two Trains Involved in Amritsar Train Accident

Were there one or two trains involved in the accident? The first train, passed the area at a slow pace, which people saw, and moved away from. The train was moving at a slow pace because it had just started moving from the Amritsar station.

Less than two and a half minutes later, according to Northern Railways officials, the second train, a DMU from Jalandhar to Amritsar passed at a high speed, and people were unable to see it, and were hit as a result.

Shivala Railway Crossing Vandalised by Unidentified Persons After Accident

Shivala Railway Crossing vandalised by unidentified persons last night after the Amritsar train accident, ANI reported. Jaspal Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Government Railway Police, said, "The window panes were vandalised last night. We found it today. The cabin man was also thrashed.”

SAD Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Visits Accident Site

Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, arrived at Jora Pathak where the DMU train ran over people who were watching Dussehra celebrations in Choura Bazar yesterday.

"It is an unpardonable negligence. Strong action should be taken. It is a mass massacre." - Sukhbir Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal

CM Amarinder Orders Preparation of Guidelines For Holding Religious & Social Gatherings

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has directed Home Secretary NS Kalsi to prepare detailed guidelines for permission to hold religious and social congregations, in order to prevent the kind of tragedy that struck Amritsar during Dussehra celebrations yesterday, ANI reported.

Victims' Cremations Underway at Shaheeda Sahib

Mass cremations of those who lost their lives in the Amritsar train accident at Shaheeda Sahib.

Mass cremations of those who lost their lives in the Amritsar train accident are currently underway at Shaheeda Sahib.

Register FIR, Conduct Independent Inquiry: Badal

SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded that an FIR be registered in the Amritsar train accident, based on the statements of the survivors, and demanded an independent inquiry.

"The present govt is taking the accident lightly as CM is saying that inquiry report will come after 4 weeks. FIR should be registered on the statements of the victims. Inquiry should be done by independent agency." - Sukhbir Singh Badal, Leader, SAD

Badal also demanded compensation of Rs 1 crore per person and government jobs for the families of those killed in the tragic train accident here.

Badal demanded immediate dismissal of Punjab minster Navjot Singh Sidhu from the cabinet besides registration of a fresh FIR against his family based on statements of the victims.

Missing People's Kin Speak Out

Speaking to The Quint, one of the missing people’s kin lamented their loss, asking how they would find their son. Listen in.

Situation Tense in Jora Phatak

The situation at the accident site remains tense with locals claiming that they feel ignored by the government.

Councillor Behind Dussehra Event Goes Underground

Municipal corporation councillor Vijay Madan and her son Sourabh Madan Mithu, the main organisers of the Dussehra celebration in Amritsar where at least 59 people were run over by a passing train, have gone underground with other family members, PTI reported.

According to police, a few people angry over the accident attacked their residence, broke window panes and pelted stones on Saturday.

No Action Against the Driver: MoS Manoj Sinha

Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, ruled out any punitive action against the driver of the train. Sinha also said that the incident wasn’t a “railway accident” but trespassing on the tracks, reported PTI.

"“The incident was not a railways’ fault. There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated. People should refrain from organising such events near tracks in future. I think if precaution had been taken, the accident could have been averted" - Manoj Sinha, MoS Railways

Locals Continue Protest at Train Accident Site

The situation remained tense on Sunday as locals continued with their sit-in at Joda Patak where 59 Dussehra revellers were mowed down by a train.

The locals had started protesting on Saturday, raising slogans against the state government and demanding action against the train's driver, a day after the accident. Police said locals are sitting on railway tracks and do not want to leave.

"“We hope that the normalcy will be restored in the area by Sunday evening as the number of protestors have come down since Saturday.” " - A senior police officer told PTI.

The Punjab Police has deployed its personnel, including commandoes, to manage the crowd. The Rapid Action Force is also present in the Joda Patak area.

Protestors Clash with Police at Site, One Security Personnel Injured

Protesters were chased away by police at Joda Phatak after they pelted stones when the police asked them to clear the railway tracks where they were sitting in protest.

One security personnel has been injured.

Punjab CM Asks for Details of Victims' Socio-Economic Background

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed Amritsar District Commissoner and Commissioner of Police to make a detailed socio-economic profile of each victim, reported ANI.

All Trains to Continue Operations: SDM Rajesh Sharma

Around 1,400-1,500 Punjab police officers have been deployed to control the crowd. Additionally, Punjab police commandos and rapid action force have also been deployed.

Speaking to The Quint, Sub-Divisonal Magistrate (SDM) Amritsar Rajesh Sharma said, “Law and order situation is under control and all the passenger trains and goods trains will continue operations.”

Goods Train Passes Joda Phatak After 43 Hours

The locals were locked in and kept away from going close to the tracks.

Conditional Permission Was Given for Dussehra Event at Dhobi Ghat Area, Says Police

The police on Sunday said that conditional permission was given for the Dussehra event at the Dhobi Ghat area, where at least 61 people were killed in a train accident on Friday.

Speaking to the media, SS Shrivastava, commissioner of police, Amritsar, said:

"“There is a certain process, and permission was given for events at 20 places. Police gave conditional permissions for events at 20 places including the Dhobi Ghat area... We gave permission for a certain event in a certain area. Now obviously there is no permission to be on the tracks or anything. The lapses are under inquiry. We had security for the whole city, including the main venue and the function venue.”" - SS Shrivastava, as quoted by ANI

'Applied Emergency Breaks, Proceeded With the Journey After People Pelted Stones': Train Driver

Arvind Kumar, the driver of the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train that ran over more than 60 people in Amritsar, said in a statement to the Railways administration that he did apply emergency brakes when he saw a crowd of people around the track.

"“I saw a crowd of people around the track and immediately applied emergency brakes while continuously blowing the horn. Still, some people came under it. The train was about to stop when people started pelting stones and so I started the train for the safety of the passengers.”" - Arvind Kumar, train driver

Sidhu Refuses to React to SAD's Demand for His Ouster

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday refused to react to the SAD's demands for his dismissal and lodging of an FIR against his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu over the Amritsar train incident on Dussehra.

SAD had made the demands as Sidhu's wife had allegedly presided over the Dussehra event on Friday.

Death Toll Rises as One More Succumbs to Injuries

A 19-year-old man injured in Friday's train tragedy succumbed to his wounds at a hospital in Amritsar on Sunday, 21 October, taking the death toll to 62, PTI reported.

Municipal Councillor Rajinder Saini said Harsh, a resident of ward number 24, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening. However, the death could not be confirmed from the district authorities.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said 59 people died in the tragedy, while Amritsar Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rajesh Sharma put the toll at 61 on that day.

Eyewitnesses Rubbish Driver's Claims of Being Pelted with Stones

Locals on Sunday, 21 October, came out hard against the statement of the driver who has said that the Dussehra revellers at the spot of the accident had pelted stones at the train.

"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, said, PTI reported.

One Protester Arrested, 40 Others Booked by Police

One person was arrested and around 40 others, mostly unidentified, were booked for clashing with security forces and pelting them with stones at the train accident site in Amritsar, police said on Sunday, 21 October.

Opposition Demands Judicial Probe, Sacking of Navjot Singh Sidhu

The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab on Sunday, 21 October, demanded immediate sacking of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and a judicial probe into the circumstances that led to the train accident near a Dussehra event in Amritsar in which at least 59 people died.

During a core committee meeting of the party, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also sought registration of murder cases against Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the chief guest at the event, and organisers of the function, holding them responsible for the accident.

Trains Start Operating Again After Tragedy

The trains started operating Sunday evening at Amritsar’s Choura Bazar, two days after tragedy struck, where more than 60 people were killed after being run over by a train on October 19. The operations continued on Monday, 22 October as well.

Operations Resume at Accident Site

Operations resumed at Amritsar's Choura Bazar on Sunday evening where over 60 people were killed and over 50 were injured after being run over by a train on 19 October.

Railways Didn’t Give Permission For the Event: MoS Railways

Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, said the Railways hadn’t giver permission for the event.

“I believe that the statement of Amritsar Police Commissioner must be an authorised statement of Punjab government. He said that we (Railways) didn't give any permission regarding the event,” he said.

Petition Filed To Demand Special Inquiry in Train Accident

A petition has been filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court to set up a CBI enquiry or form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Amritsar train accident on 19 October .

Permissions Were Taken for Event: Organiser

As the death toll of the tragic Amritsar train accident rose to 62, the organiser of the Dussehra event Saurabh Madan Mithoo said on Monday, 22 October, that they had made five-six announcements asking people not to stand on the railway lines and go inside the boundaries.

"“We had taken all the permissions. The fire brigade and the water tanker were also sent from the Corporation.”" - Saurabh Madan Mithoo, Event Organiser

Also Read: Amritsar Accident: Organiser Says Permissions Were Taken for Event

Punjab Government is on 'Mission Coverup': Sukhbir Badal

Sukhbir Badal of the SAD on Monday said that the Punjab Government was on a ‘mission to cover up’ after the horrific train accident in Amritsar, that claimed 62 lives.

"“They are on mission coverup, there is no remorse, no regret and no seriousness in the Punjab government. The CM is abroad, senior leaders who organised the event ran away after the accident... It is very unfortunate.”" - Sukhbir Badal, SAD to ANI

Sidhu Distributes Compensation Cheques to Kin of Deceased

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday distributed compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each from the Punjab government to the kin of those who died in horrific train accident.

(ANI)

Why Was Driver's Name Not Disclosed: Navjot Sidhu

Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu on Monday questioned why the identity of the driver of the locomotive that mowed down over 62 poeple in a train acident was being kept hidden.

"“The railway engine, police, guards, tracks... belong to Centre and FIR has also been lodged by the Centre. The driver was given clean chit* within six hours... why his name hasn’t been revealed? Is it possible when a train is approaching guards can’t see it?”" - Navjot Sidhu, Congress, to ANI

NHRC Issues Notices to Punjab Government, Railway Board

The NHRC on Monday issued notices to the Railways and the Punjab government over the Amritsar accident in which 62 Dussehra revellers were killed when they were run over by a train while watching the festivities.

Issuing the notices, the Commission observed that it cannot be said to be a "sane act" by people to sit on railway tracks, but at the same time, the "negligence on the part of the district authorities is apparent" behind this "bizarre and horrific incident".

(PTI)

Case Filed in Bihar Court Against Sidhu's Wife

A complaint case was filed on Monday against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife, seeking registration of a case against her for failing to discharge her duties that led to the death of nearly 60 people in a train accident in Amritsar on Friday.

The complaint claimed that Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at a Dussehra function in Amritsar, and the organisers were solely responsible for the incident and the court should therefore take cognizance of the matter and order a trial against her. Four persons from Bihar were killed in the tragic incident.

(PTI)

Piyush Goyal Returns From US

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal returned from the US on Monday, two days after 62 Dussehra revellers watching the burning of a Ravana effigy on the tracks near Amritsar were mowed down by a train.

"The minister had rushed to the airport but there were no tickets available. He really tried his best to get back. In the meantime, he has been briefing us, guiding us and monitoring the situation on the ground continuously," a senior official said.

Upon his return early on Monday, Goyal participated in an event organised by NITI Aayog.

(PTI)

Will Adopt Children Who Lost Parents In Amritsar Tragedy: Navjot Sidhu

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu announced that he would adopt all the children who had lost their parents.

"In my personal capacity I and my wife hereby announce the adoption of all the children who have lost their parents. Their education in good institutions and all other expenses will be borne by us. Women who have lost their husbands will also be extended all required finical help," Sidhu said.

. Read more on India by The Quint.Drought in Half of All Tehsils in Maharashtra, Says CM FadnavisAmritsar Tragedy: Over 60 Killed, Political Blame-Game Continues . Read more on India by The Quint.