Days after 61 people were killed in Amritsar after a train ran over revelers watching Ravana burning on Dussehra, another event was organised very close to train tracks in Dhuri, around 200 kilometre from the city. Congress lawmaker, Surendra Singh Dawar, was slammed by the opposition in Punjab, for attending the event, organised by National Students Union of India (NSUI), the youth wing of the party on Sunday.
Mr Dawar was the chief guest at the event, which was organised to appoint a new office bearer of the NSUI.
"I was completely unaware about the location where the event was organised. Ever since I have come here, I have been asking people to stay away from the railway line. When I got to know about the location, I asked the concerned police station to ensure proper security near the tracks," the lawmaker told news agency ANI.
Mr Dawar, however claimed that the organisers had taken permission from the concerned authorities for the event. Opposition leader Gurdeep Singh Gosh of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has demanded an inquiry into the matter. "How can the authorities give permission to conduct an event near the railway tracks," questioned Mr Gosh.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, before leaving for a five-day official visit to Israel, said that he will decide on fixing responsibility after receiving the probe report. "I am waiting for the report to find out who is responsible. A committee of three ministers, headed by Brahm Mohindra, is supervising the relief operations and I'm in touch with them on a regular basis," said the Chief Minister.
The organiser of the Dussehra event, a Congress councillor's son, who had gone underground after the horrific accident surfaced three days later and released a video message saying, he was being unfairly targeted. "It's an extremely tragic incident, I am deeply pained. I arranged the Dussehra celebrations to bring everyone together. I had taken all the permissions and spared no effort. I had spoken to the police, municipal corporation and the fire brigade," Saurabh Madan said in the video message.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)