A tragic train accident had killed 61 people near Amritsar on the eve of Dussehra this year.
The incident, where a train ran over people who gathered on the railway tracks to see the effigy of Ravana burning, had become a political blame game. The opposition held the Punjab’s Congress government responsible for allowing a Dussehra event near the tracks.
Amidst this political mud slanging over a tragedy, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife and ex-lawmaker Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who attended the function, was accused of running away from the site.
However, today, in a massive relief to Navjot Singh Sidhu, he and his wife have been given clean chit by the judicial probe done by Jalandhar Divisional commissioner, B. Purushartha in the Amritsar train tragedy.
The opposition was prompt to play the blame game then, having no empathy towards sympathising with the deceased and assisting in providing reliefs to their families. Such low discourse of opportunistic politics could have been avoided at a time the state was facing such a catastrophic situation.
Navjot Singh Sidhu had then said that there was a ‘big negligence’, however, he had asked his detractors not to do politics over the incident.
“It was an unfortunate incident. I talked to few people who told me that some people were standing on the rail track and some were sitting on a stone near the track,” he said.
Navjot Kaur Sidhu, had infact rushed to the hospital along with the injured and understandably so, she was doing her best in the capacity of an individual to be all along the ones who needed immediate medical aid then.
News agency, ANI had tweeted a video of an eye witness just after the incident, who had alleged that Navjot Kaur continued with her speech even while the train ran over several people. He said,
“Congress had organised Dussehra celebrations here without permission. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife was the chief guest at the celebrations and she continued to give a speech as people were struck down by the train.”
#WATCH Eyewitness at #Amritsar accident site says, "Congress had organised Dussehra celebrations here without permission. Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife was the chief guest at the celebrations and she continued to give a speech as people were struck down by the train." pic.twitter.com/rcsxbVxiB9
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
Later, after multiple social media users pointed out, ANI was forced to apologize as the eye witness was Rajesh Honey, a BJP Member, and his version of the story could be politically manipulated.
— ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2018
— ʙᴀʟ ɴᴀʀᴇɴᴅʀᴀ (@hunt_bhai) October 19, 2018
Videos clearly show Ravan was being burnt while Train went over the people. How could she be giving speech amidst the sound of crackers.
Stop peddling lies ANI.
— Jet Lee(Vasooli Bhai) (@Vishj05) October 19, 2018
He was a BJP guy that ANI is passing off as an "eye witness"https://t.co/SZ9VfUnurz
— Ponga Pandit (@realpongapandit) October 19, 2018
This eye-witness is BJP spokesperson, which ANI ignored intelligently to mention. STOP blame game, it’s an unfortunate incident pic.twitter.com/iP4DkTE07Q
— Sachin Krishna (@reachsk7) October 19, 2018
Is ANI just a bjp it cell platform to spread hatred. I being from Amritsar know about the fact that Navjot Kaur Sidhu went to Civil Hospital with immediate effect. So don't politise such issues🙏
— Pranjal D💦 (@pranjal_dureja) October 19, 2018
The nearly 300-page report finds the Sidhu couple not guilty of any offences. This will be a major shot in the arm for Sidhu who was criticised heavily by political parties at that time. The report confirms that the main organiser Madan Mithu had no permission to hold Dussehra celebrations near the railway tracks and there was no management for crowd control.
The report will be soon sent to Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, who is expected to take decisions accordingly.
However, the out of power Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal accused Punjab’s Congress government for lapses in allowing celebrations near railway tracks. He said the Amritsar train tragedy was not an accident but a ‘massacre’.
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