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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Amritsar train tragedy: CM says action initiated against 13 police, MC personnel

Captain Amarinder Singh rejects allegations of inaction by state govt, says ‘no question of burying inquiry report’

india Updated: Oct 22, 2019 06:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
A magisterial inquiry into the incident wherein about 61 people were mowed down by a train on October 19, 2018, was conducted by divisional commissioner Jalandhar, B Purushartha, on the orders of the chief minister.
A magisterial inquiry into the incident wherein about 61 people were mowed down by a train on October 19, 2018, was conducted by divisional commissioner Jalandhar, B Purushartha, on the orders of the chief minister.(HT PHOTO)
         

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said departmental action has already been initiated against six police officers and seven employees of the Amritsar municipal corporation had been charge-sheeted in the 2018 Amritsar train tragedy case.

“Necessary action has been ordered against police and civic body personnel who were found guilty of dereliction of duty on that fateful day, based on the findings of the magisterial inquiry report,” the state government said in a statement.

A magisterial inquiry into the incident wherein about 61 people were mowed down by a train on October 19, 2018, was conducted by divisional commissioner Jalandhar, B Purushartha, on the orders of the chief minister.

Taking cognizance of recent reports, the CM clarified that due action, as per the law, was being taken against those found guilty, and there was no question of brushing aside the matter or burying the inquiry report, as alleged in a section of the media.

“My government is also taking all possible steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, said Captain, pointing out that detailed guidelines were issued to police and local government officers suggesting corrective measures, including creation of a single window/authority to accept applications and grant permissions for such events. The commissionerates of police in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar, besides the SDMs in other areas, had already been appointed single authority for this purpose, he added.

“It was also stipulated that the application would contain all relevant information along with detailed checklist and organisers would be asked to apply at least 15 days before the event,” said the CM explaining the steps taken by his government. Organisers would also be charged for security fire tenders water tenders and cleaning etc. In addition to making video-graphing of these functions mandatory, the state government had also stipulated that permission of the concerned department would be a prerequisite if the event was proposed to be held on Government land, the CM said.

“It may be recalled that immediately after the accident, the CM had ordered a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to dependents of each of the deceased, with Rs 50,000 compensation for those injured. Of the Rs 2.9 crore placed at the disposal of deputy commissioner Amritsar for disbursal to the kin of the deceased, Rs. 2.6 crore had already been disbursed. In one case, all four members of a family had died and their legal heirs could not be verified,” reads the press note.

Further, the identification of the legal heir of one deceased remained disputed and identity of one victim could not be established, it reads further.

Of the 71 injured, compensation for three victims was under process due to non-availability of their known residential addresses, said the spokesperson in the press release, adding that efforts were underway to find their alternative locations.

With a warning that no procedural irregularity would be tolerated in the organization, regulation and supervision of such events, the CM has, meanwhile, urged the public to exercise restraint and observe all due precautions during the ongoing festive season, to complement the administration’s efforts to ensure safety and security at such events.