Amritsar tragedy: Clashes erupt as police remove protesters from railway tracks

AMRITSAR: Protests for action against the driver involved in Friday’s Amritsar accident grew violent, as local residents clashed with police and pelted stones near railway tracks on Sunday.

Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 21

Protests for action against the driver involved in Friday’s Amritsar accident grew violent, as local residents clashed with police and pelted stones near railway tracks on Sunday.

Protesters pelted stones at police trying to get them to clear the railway track at Jora Phatak, prompting police to react similarly.

A Punjab police commando and a photo journalist were wounded in the violence.

Forty of the 59 killed have been identified so far.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked Amritsar deputy commissioner and police commissioner to draw up detailed socio-economic profiles of the victims.  

Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Railways), Firozpur Division, S Sudharkar said: “Train services have resumed on the affected rail track (Joda Phatak). A goods train was allowed to run on this track.”  

Railways hold a meeting in the evening to decide when services could begin again.

Protesters were demanding action against the driver and demanding resignation of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Police finally managed to clear railway tracks for trial run.

A train ploughed through a crowd of Dashera revellers on Friday, claiming at least 59 lives. Police and the Rapid Action Force deployed their forces around the track in large numbers. With agencies 

Video credit: Vishal Kumar

 

HIGHLIGHTS

3:42 pm: Railway officials to take a call on resuming of passenger  trains at a meeting in the evening.

2:27 pm: Goods train crosses Jora Phatak without interruption. Divisional Security Commissioner RPF S Sudakar says trial run successful. Normal rail traffic will resume soon.

2:10 pm:  An empty goods train will travel from Manawala railway station to 10 km ahead of Amritsar Railway Station in 20 minutes on a trial run. The train will pass the spot of accident.

1:35 pm: Police prepare to resume train service on the route after it was suspended after Friday’s tragic accident. Railway prepares for a trial run with an empty train first. The railway crossing is currently closed. Heavy security deployment in the area.

1:02 pm: Police imposed Section 144 of CrPC after some Shiv Sena activists from Patiala reach railway tracls. 

12:52 pm: Administration says its planning to resume rail traffic. Heavy police and paramilitary deployment along track from railway station to New Amritsar.

12:52 pm: Top officials claim that a Punjabi news channel owned by Badal family is instigating crowd. 

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