40 of those killed in Amritsar mishap identified, 36 bodies cremated

A crowd gathers at the site of the train accident

A crowd gathers at the site of the train accident Credit Prabhjot Gill AP

Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said in a statement that the event was organised in an area which does not belong to the railways.

In the audio, Madaan could be heard boasting about the people standing on the tracks. He also said that if the driver had applied emergency breaks, there could have been a bigger tragedy. "There was a curve". "There was a curve, driver couldn't have seen it", he said. Mr Goyal, who is in the USA, also said he is returning to India. Police sources said that the organisers had gone underground.

But a blame-game has already begun.

The Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the accident and also directed the railway officials to form strict guidelines for future celebrations in the area.

Sources, however, said that even if the Railways administration does not invite the CRS, there are provisions in The Railways Act for the CRS to take suo motu cognizance and initiate a probe into any mishap in the Railways system resulting in loss of lives.

According to reports the burning of the effigy was delayed due to the late arrival of the chief guest of the event, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of the Amritsar East MLA and cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. But the Amritsar Municipal Corporation distanced itself from the tragedy. "Nobody was given the permission for organising the Dussehra event".

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Deputy Commissioner of Police Amrik Singh Powar said the organisers were asked to also seek permission from the municipal corporation and pollution department as well. "We have staff at level crossings whose job is to regulate traffic", he said, explaining why the railways was not alerted about the congregation by its staff. "People who are doing politics over this incident should be ashamed", she said. "My son played the role of Ravana at the Ram Leela, which was held on the ground at Dhobi Ghat adjacent to Joda Phatak.he is no more.He too was run over by the train", she said.

Giving details, the railways said 10 mail/express trains and 27 passenger trains were cancelled.

On Saturday, crowds gathered outside hospitals and squatted on the tracks in protest. Claiming that there were over 40 policemen present at the event site when the train mowed down over 50 people, he told The Print, "I met DCP (Amrik Singh) Powar before organising the whole thing". People milled around the hospital compound, some stunned into silence by the enormity of the tragedy that felled their loved ones and others holding back tears.

But that did not satisfy the opposition which has been demanding an explanation from the state government.

A Reuters witness at the scene saw bodies of victims strewn around rail tracks, friends and relatives stood around in shock, many were sobbing and appeared distraught.

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