Clean chit to Sidhu couple in Amritsar train tragedy

Amritsar:Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, on Thursday, were given a clean chit in a magisterial inquiry into the Amritsar train tragedy, which left 60 people dead after a speeding train ran over revellers who were standing on tracks to watch the burning of Ravana effigy on Dussehra in October.

The probe was conducted by the Punjab government and the report was submitted to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh who gave the clean chit to the couple, stating that they were not present in the Dussehra event when the mishap happened.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, after being cleared in the inquiry, Navjot Kaur Sidhu said that the accusations were politically motivated.

“If I am called to attend an event and an incident takes place there, then how am I responsible for it? These are attempts to malign the name of the Sidhu family. There is a dire need to make a law in India that before attending any event the chief guest must send its team to the spot and must see if something wrong is happening. In Ludhiana too, people celebrated Dussehra on railway tracks as there was no space inside the city but the action was not taken against the authorities,” she said.

The accident took place on October 19 at the Dhobi Ghat ground in Choura Bazar near Jhoda Phatak area in Amritsar after a train crushed a crowd that had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of effigies on Dussehra.

Immediately after the incident, Kaur reiterated that she was innocent, stating that “the effigy of Ravana was burnt and I had just left the site when the incident happened. Priority is to get the injured treated. Dussehra celebrations are held there every year. People who are doing politics over this incident should be ashamed.”

The magisterial inquiry under the Divisional Commissioner of Jalandhar was ordered by Punjab Chief Minister to ascertain the cause of the accident.