Police injured during protests over Amritsar tragedy

Reinforcements rushed to area near Joda Phatak (railway gate) after situation turned violent

Amritsar: Protests over the Amritsar train tragedy turned violent here on Sunday, leaving a few policemen injured amid stone-pelting.

Residents launched demonstrations against the Punjab government and the Railways after 59 people were killed when a train crushed them as they were watching Dusshera festival celebrations.

The injured policemen, including Punjab Police commandos, were rushed to a government hospital for treatment.

Reinforcements were rushed to the area near the Joda Phatak (railway gate), after the situation turned violent on Sunday afternoon, police officials said.

Residents of the area hurled stones at the police after officers tried to remove them from the railway tracks, where the tragedy occurred on Friday evening.

The protesters were demanding action against organisers of the Dusshera festival events near Joda Phatak for which hundreds of people had gathered to see the burning of the Ravan effigy.

The people were watching the proceedings from the railway tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed them.

On Sunday, residents blocked traffic from crossing the Joda Phatak (railway gate) to show anger against the authorities, allegedly for not bothering about the families who had lost their loved ones, including women and children.

Rail traffic on this section had been stopped since Friday evening.

Family members of the train tragedy victims said that Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, who was the chief guest at the Dusshera function on Friday, had not even bothered to meet them despite their loss.

The Punjab government on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the train tragedy.

The railways said it was not responsible for the tragedy.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, including finding out if mandatory permissions for holding the function were given.

Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal demanded that a case of murder be registered against the organisers, who were mostly ruling Congress leaders.


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