Driver cleared in 2018 Amritsar train accident probe
A magisterial inquiry into the 2018 Dussehra train tragedy that had claimed 61 lives in Amritsar last year has given the driver of the train the “benefit of the doubt” for his apparent “little late reaction”.
The probe, led by Jalandhar divisional commissioner B Purushartha, was made public by the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO), an NGO, on Saturday.
Investigating authority B Purushartha had conducted a trial run of the same DMU train around three weeks after the tragedy, which occurred on October 19, 2018.
“In this trial run, the loco pilot was able to see some 40-50 people standing near the tracks at the accident site with lights of their mobiles on, some 10 metres after the gate towards Amritsar side. He immediately applied the emergency brakes. Although the train could not stop at or before the accident site but crossed it at a speed of around 40 kmph,” the report read.
In such circumstances, the loco pilot of DMU train may not be held responsible of any omission/commission or failure in discharge of his statutory duties, it added. Concluding his role, the report stated, “Was it a slow reaction on part of the loco pilot? This is something which only a technically qualified person can determine...”