Amritsar: Congress politician and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited the Civil Hospital here on Saturday where many of those injured in Friday's train mishap have been admitted for treatment. Agreeing there was negligence, the cricketer-turned-politician called it an unfortunate incident.
At least 60 were killed and many more injured when a Jalandhar-bound train ran over people gathered to watch Dusshera celebrations in Choura Bazar. Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the event, said that the incident should be seen as an accident. "It was a sad and an unfortunate incident. It is necessary to understand that it was an accident. There has been negligence but it was never intentional or motivated," he told reporters. He also questioned why the train did not alert people gathered at the level crossing. "The accident occurred within a matter of minutes when the train came at a high speed. The train did not blow the horn. CM has ordered an investigation into the incident."
Sidhu is in the line of fire because many have accused his wife of leaving the location after the mishap even though she has denied the charge. "When allegations were being made against her last night, she was in the hospital with the injured. Let's not make this a political argument. It is an accident and we need to stand together to help people in need," he said.
It is being reported that the entire event had been organised by Congress with many pointing fingers at the lax arrangements made. The organisers have attempted to defend themselves by saying that they had asked for security arrangements but it was not given. The event was eventually organised in a field which can accommodate around 2,000 people. Around 7,000 were present when the accident occurred. Locals here say many had gathered on an elevated level crossing for a better view of the celebrations and were unable to hear the train due to the noise from crackers.