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Amritsar train accident: Warned people 10 times not to stand on tracks, says event organiser

Saurabh Madan alias Mithu, who went into hiding after kin of the victims in Friday’s tragedy blamed him, said there were no lapses from his side.

Updated: Oct 22, 2018 19:31:01

By HT Correspondent

Security on high alert as the first train passes by before resumption of railway services since the train accident, in Amritsar, Sunday, Oct 21, 2018. (PTI)

The organiser of a Dussehra event at Amritsar’s Dhobi Ghat where 61 people were killed as a train ploughed through a crowd, claimed all permissions and safety measures were taken and he was being framed by some people who had “personal enmity” against him.

In an about one and a half minute-long video, shared by ANI, a distressed-looking Saurabh Madan alias Mithu, who went into hiding after kin of the victims in Friday’s tragedy blamed him, said there were no lapses from his side.

“I had organised the function to get everyone together. We took all permissions... we had 20 feet space around the Ravan effigy. There was no lapse from my side, we had 100 policemen at the site, a fire brigade vehicle and water tankers were there at the spot. The programme was held within the boundary of the Dhobi ghat ground, not on the (railway) lines... we hadn’t put chairs on the railways lines,” Madan said in Punjabi in the video shot in an undisclosed location.

“The train suddenly came.. it was fate. We had already made 7-10 announcements asking people not to stand on the railway lines,” he added.



 

Madan, the son of local Congress councillor Vijay Madan, alleged that there were “three-four mischievous people with personal enmity against him” who were spreading accusations against him, and he appealed to people not to believe them, adding he and his family were very disturbed.

Closed-circuit television footage of Madan leaving his house in an SUV surfaced on the social media on Sunday. His house has been locked ever since the accident. Angry people even threw stones at the house Saturday.

The Punjab police and the Government Railway Police (GRP) have not initiated any action against Madan yet.

“The accident took place on the railway track which is under the jurisdiction of GRP. We cannot do anything. Secondly, chief minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry in the case,” said Amritsar police commissioner S S Srivastava.

The GRP has registered an FIR against unknown persons for negligence and culpable homicide. “The matter is under investigation,” GRP Amritsar station house officer Balbir Singh said.

Hindustan Times repeatedly tried to call Madan over the phone but to no avail.

First Published: Oct 22, 2018 17:07:12

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