Justice, jobs elude victims’ kin

Sandeep Kaur, who lost two kids in the tragic accident, said: “Justice and jobs have eluded us. Justice would have worked as a balm.”

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 20

Families of 60 Dasehra train tragedy victims have been waiting for justice and jobs since 2018. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the then Local Bodies Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, had announced jobs for kin of the victims immediately after the tragedy.

After completion of formalities, the district administration had forwarded 34 files received from kin for jobs to the head office in Chandigarh around two months ago. Three files were sent back due to some objections.

The special investigation team (SIT) of the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the state government carried out separate probes to fix responsibility.

The SIT had nominated seven members of the organising committee, including former Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s aide Saurav Madaan, alias Mithu, in July last year.

The GRP said the organisers held the event without mandatory permission and safety measures. The programme was held at Dhobi Ghat, near Joda Phatak, twin railway crossing, which lacked enough space to accommodate huge crowd.

Balbir Singh, SHO, GRP (Amritsar railway station), said the police had submitted the challan in the court and hearing would commence soon, which got delayed due to the Covid-induced lockdown.

Sandeep Kaur, who lost two kids in the tragic accident, said, “Justice and jobs have eluded us. Justice would have worked as a balm.”

Gurjit Singh, who drives an e-rickshaw to earn a living, lost his father in the accident. He said, “Justice and jobs can assuage our feelings.” Gurjit’s mother had also received injuries in the accident and at present works in a factory to make her both ends meet.

Aman, whose husband Vikas Kumar, was killed in the accident, now raises a minor kid and support her in-laws.

Similar is the tale of Ramesh Kumar, whose only son Vijay Kumar, was killed in the accident.

The state government had released a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and the Centre gave a relief of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the victims.

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