Year After Amritsar Tragedy, Grieving Families Fight To Survive

61 people were killed in Amritsar last year after a train hit a crowd of people watching a Ravana effigy burn on Dussehra.

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Year After Amritsar Tragedy, Grieving Families Fight To Survive

61 people were killed in Amritsar on Dussehra last year.


Amritsar: 

For many people in Amritsar, this Dussehra will be a painful reminder of last year's tragedy, when a train hit a crowd of people watching a Ravana effigy burn. 61 people were killed in the accident.

"My father Baldev Kumar suffered multiple fractures with severe backbone injuries. He died five months after the accident. We are still running around to get his name registered in the list of those who died in the tragedy," Rajesh Kumar said on Monday.

He says they didn't get any compensation either from the state government or the Centre.

"After my husband death, getting two square meals a day has become difficult," Kanta Devi said.

She claimed that even former Punjab minister and local MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu and his family were reluctant to meet them or listen to their grievances.

"Whatever the savings we had, have already been spent on the treatment of my husband and now we are feeling helpless," she said.

"Mere compensation is not enough. I need a government job and want that action be taken against the guilty," another woman who lost her husband in the accident said.

Navjit, who had lost his son Sachin (15) in the accident, said, "No one in the world can bring back my son. At least, our government should fix the responsibility for the train accident so that such incidents do not take place in future. Only strict punishment to the guilty can stop such incidents."

This time, the authorities, say they have been very careful in permitting Dussehra events in the city.

"The permission was given after a thorough examination of the location and keeping the safety of people in mind. No permission was granted for the celebrations near the rail tracks," DSP Jagmohan Singh told PTI.



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