AMRITSAR TRAIN TRAGEDY 2018

No jobs given, judicial probe eyewash: Kin

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 5

The family members of victims of the train tragedy that snuffed out 60 lives during Dasehra festivities in 2018 are dissatisfied with the judicial inquiry report.

The inquiry officer, a retired Additional District and Sessions Judge, has indicted four MC officials of Amritsar. They were already chargesheeted in the departmental inquiry conducted in October 2019, for being “negligent” in performing their duties.

The victims’ kin termed the judicial inquiry report an eyewash and lashed out at the state government for not keeping up with the assurance of providing them government jobs.

Deepak, who lost his father Girinder Kumar and uncle Pawan Kumar in the incident, said it was a politically influenced report. “The 108-page report of the magisterial probe conducted earlier should have been complied with. Holding MC employees responsible for the tragedy only appears to be an exercise to save the higher-ups,” he said.

The state government had got done a magisterial probe by the Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar, B Purushartha, which held 23 persons, including organisers, policemen, Railways employees and MC officials guilty.

Kamal Kumar, who lost his 18-year-old son Tarun, demanded stern action against the organisers of the Dasehra event. “Our wounds can never be healed just by indicting MC officials, who will have no choice but to bow before the political bosses,” he said.

Vijay, who lost his 19-year-old son Munish in the accident, said, “My son was helping me in my small business of footwear. His death broke me completely. My second son has passed Class XII but is jobless. We were promised that he would be given a government job on compassionate grounds, but the files got entangled in official rigmarole,” he said.

An official of the MC, whose name surfaced in the judicial report, said, “Permission for holding a religious programme on Dashera had never been sought before the incident. Moreover, if we were held responsible for not enforcing the law, why the then MC Commissioner and Joint Commissioners were shielded?” Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu said that the process to give jobs to the deserving was underway.

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