People gather near the site of a train accident at Joda Phatak in Amritsar on Saturday, a day after a train mowed down scores of people watching the Dussehra celebrations (AFP file)
People gather near the site of a train accident at Joda Phatak in Amritsar on Saturday, a day after a train mowed down scores of people watching the Dussehra celebrations (AFP file)

Amritsar train tragedy: Govt acts against 4 MC officials; too little, say victims’ kin

Secretary Sushant Bhatia and superintendent Pushpinder Singh have been debarred from getting any promotion for two years, while pension of former superintendent Girish Kumar and then inspector Kewal Krishan will be deducted by 5% for the same period.
By Surjit Singh and Anil Sharma, Amritsar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 01:42 AM IST

Even as the Punjab local bodies department has acted against four Amritsar Municipal Corporation officials (2 now retired) for lapse in the 2018 Dussehra train tragedy that claimed the lives of 61 persons, the victims’ families have expressed their dissatisfaction over the move terming it “too little, too late”.

As per the department’s recent order, secretary Sushant Bhatia and superintendent Pushpinder Singh have been debarred from getting any promotion for two years, while pension of former superintendent Girish Kumar and then inspector Kewal Krishan will be deducted by 5% for the same period.

There was also a fifth official (now retired), Kashmir Singh, who was chargesheeted along with the four, but he was acquitted as allegations against him were not proved, the order reads.

Joint director (local government) Rakesh Kumar confirmed the development.

Terming the action as “mere eyewash”, the victims’ families said they were already expecting “mild punishment” as the departmental inquiry was deliberately delayed.

“It was because of the lackadaisical approach of the authorities concerned, including the MC officials, police and the railways, that 60 people were killed and more than 100 injured. The punishment should have been exemplary so that no official dares do such a blunder again. Cutting 5% from the pension and stopping promotions for two years is no punishment,” said Deepak Kumar, who lost his father Gurinder Kumar to the tragedy.

He added, “Earlier, the railways had submitted a chargesheet against the event organisers without making any arrest. The accused against whom criminal action was recommended are roaming free.”

During the departmental inquiry, the inquiry officer had assigned the probe to retired additional district and sessions judge Amarjit Singh Katari after finding replies of four of the chargsheeted officials unsatisfactory. Katari had submitted the inquiry report to the department in June last year, recommending action against the four.

The department had given those indicted in the probe 15 days to present their side. Katari in the final report had stated there was ground for “big punishment”.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
As many as 301 cases were registered in Shimla district and 229 in Mandi, while 221 cases were registered in Kullu and 206 in the police district of Baddi. (HT File)
As many as 301 cases were registered in Shimla district and 229 in Mandi, while 221 cases were registered in Kullu and 206 in the police district of Baddi. (HT File)

Year on, demand to cancel cases against Covid-19 guideline violators in HP

By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:19 PM IST
Though the BJP government is undecided, the issue is likely to come up in the budget session of the assembly, beginning on Friday
Close
Independent MLA from Meham Balraj Kundu's aide claimed he was being targeted for supporting farmers against the three farm laws .(Manoj Dhaka/HT)
Independent MLA from Meham Balraj Kundu's aide claimed he was being targeted for supporting farmers against the three farm laws .(Manoj Dhaka/HT)

Income Tax raids at Haryana MLA Balraj Kundu's homes, offices

By Sunil Rahar, Rohtak
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:20 AM IST
  • A caretaker at Kundu's Rohtak office said the IT raids were politically motivated.
Close
Only the chief minister is authorised to take a call on a director general of police’s posting, say officials. (HT Photo)
Only the chief minister is authorised to take a call on a director general of police’s posting, say officials. (HT Photo)

CM Khattar unlikely to accede to Vij’s demand for change of DGP

By Hitender Rao, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:19 AM IST
Home department explains legal position on minimum tenure of two years, apex court’s rejection of Haryana’s amended law on tenure
Close
The seized cash and weapons. (HT Photo)
The seized cash and weapons. (HT Photo)

4 held with 29 lakh drug money, weapons in Amritsar

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:13 AM IST
Police say the arrested accused had been in contact with Pakistani smugglers for the supply of drugs and weapons
Close
Officials said question papers and answer keys of almost all subjects for classes 6-12 of government institutes in Punjab were landing daily on at least two Youtube channels. (Aalok Soni/HT PHOTO)
Officials said question papers and answer keys of almost all subjects for classes 6-12 of government institutes in Punjab were landing daily on at least two Youtube channels. (Aalok Soni/HT PHOTO)

Youtube channels have school pre-final question papers a day in advance

By Vishal Joshi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:13 AM IST
BATHINDA Ahead of the final examinations in March, chinks in the examination system of Punjab education department has come to the fore as question papers of the ongoing pre-final tests are appearing on the social media in advance
Close
 (Representative Image)
(Representative Image)

Nodeep Kaur case: Haryana Police accuse her of extortion, inciting violence before HC

By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:12 AM IST
The Haryana Police have accused labour activist Nodeep Kaur of extorting money from industrialists in Kondli area of Sonepat and inciting workers during a protest on January 12, in which seven cops were reportedly injured
Close
Suspended inspector general of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal.
Suspended inspector general of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal.

Behbal Kalan firing: Court allows SIT to procure CCTV footage of judicial complex

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:10 AM IST
The district and sessions court on Wednesday allowed the special investigation team’s plea seeking CCTV footage of judicial complex, when suspended IG Paramraj Singh Umaranangal appeared in the court on February 19
Close
‘Morning wake-up call’ order leaves govt teachers sleepless
‘Morning wake-up call’ order leaves govt teachers sleepless

‘Morning wake-up call’ order leaves govt teachers sleepless

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:05 AM IST
The heads of government schools, teachers and mentors in Punjab are sleepless over a new task at hand — to give early morning wake-up calls to students, asking them to study
Close
Sardoo Sikander and Gurdas Maan during a performance.
Sardoo Sikander and Gurdas Maan during a performance.

Sardool Sikander (1961-2021): ‘Roadways Di Laari’ comes to a grinding halt

By PTI and HTC
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:53 AM IST
Sikander, who had undergone a renal transplant in 2016, passed away at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Wednesday
Close
Lakha Sidhana, wanted by Delhi Police in the Republic Day violence case, speaking at a rally in Mehraj villageof Punjab’s Bathinda district on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar /HT)
Lakha Sidhana, wanted by Delhi Police in the Republic Day violence case, speaking at a rally in Mehraj villageof Punjab’s Bathinda district on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar /HT)

Mehraj rally: Delhi Police made no effort to arrest Lakha, says Punjab Police

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:50 AM IST
Punjab Police says neither there is written information about Lakha being a fugitive in the Republic Day violence case nor on presence of Delhi Police in Bathinda on Tuesday
Close
Jaswinder Singh of Barnala, who spent <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>18 lakh to send his wife to Canada on a study visa, shows a copy of the complaint and his wedding pictures. (HT Photo)
Jaswinder Singh of Barnala, who spent 18 lakh to send his wife to Canada on a study visa, shows a copy of the complaint and his wedding pictures. (HT Photo)

Wives sent abroad for spouse visa disown Punjabi grooms back home

By Harmandeep Singh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:48 AM IST
Around 30 such men have approached an NGO and police to seek help in suspending passports of their wives
Close
PEC not to lower grades for poor attendance till July 31
PEC not to lower grades for poor attendance till July 31

PEC not to lower grades for poor attendance till July 31

By Dar Ovais, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:31 AM IST
PEC director Dheeraj Sanghi says attendance requirement for all students will be waived till online classes are being conducted and Covid situation doesn’t normalises
Close
An internal road in a bad shape  in Sector 47, Chandigarh. (Keshav Singh/HT)
An internal road in a bad shape  in Sector 47, Chandigarh. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Chandigarh MC to begin road repairs in March

By Munieshwer A Sagar, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:34 AM IST
Even though the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) is ready to start the repair works of city roads, the bumpy ride is unlikely to get better this financial year
Close
The Centre on Wednesday announced the second phase of vaccination for people above the age of 60 and those aged above 45 and having comorbidities. (Representational picture)
The Centre on Wednesday announced the second phase of vaccination for people above the age of 60 and those aged above 45 and having comorbidities. (Representational picture)

Two private hospitals roped in for next vaccination phase in Chandigarh

By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:21 AM IST
Healing Hospital in Sector 34 and Landmark Hospital in Sector 33 have been named in the list of private centres
Close
The civic body will also start adding user charges to the water bill in areas where it starts garbage collection. (HT File)
The civic body will also start adding user charges to the water bill in areas where it starts garbage collection. (HT File)

MC to take over waste collection across Chandigarh on March 1

By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:20 AM IST
The project was launched in city’s northern part on December 23 last year, with the MC deploying its 93 vehicles in Sectors 1 to 30
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP