Zee Media Bureau
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar strongly criticised Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s statement blaming the state government for the Rajyarani Express tragedy.
Coming down heavily on the Chowdhury, the Janata Dal (United) leader termed the statement as highly irresponsible and said that the minister has made a fool of himself.
The Bihar CM’s reaction comes a day the Union Minister the blame the state administration for the rail tragedy. "The local administration did not alert the Railways about the large congregation of pilgrims for the mela (fair) at the Katayani temple so that we could have taken some measures," Chaudhury had said.
Twenty-eight people were killed and six were injured after they were mowed down by a speeding train in Bihar Monday morning.
Giving the details of the unfortunate incident, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge had told Parliament that at about 8.33 am the Madhepura-Samastipur passenger train heading towards Samastipur was halted at the station. At 8.48 am the Samastipur-Madhepura passenger train heading towards Madhepura too was stopped to give precedence to Rajyarani Express.
Some passengers from both the trains got down "on the non-platform side".
In the meantime at about 8.50 am, the Rajyarani express approached the Dharama Ghat railway station platform.
"The loco pilot after passing home signal, which was on a curvature, saw some people standing on the tracks and applied emergency brakes. However, by the time the train stopped, some people had been run over," he had said.