AMRITSAR: Facing ire over the train mishap in which at least 59 people were killed, Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur has defended the organisers. She said that several announcements were made for people to come to the ground where the function was being held.
"There were vacant seats at Dhobi Ghat ground. Ravan was tied securely and there were no chances of it falling down and creating chaos. There was no stampede. Announcements were made four-five times asking people to come inside the ground," Navjot Kaur recalled.
Navjot Kaur is facing the wrath of people for having allegedly left the accident site without bothering about the victims. Protestors shouted slogans against her, who was the chief guest during the event, alleging she left the venue after the accident. She, however, said she had left the place before the accident took place and rushed to the hospital the moment she came to know of it.
Defending his wife, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Siddu said that when allegations were being levelled against her, she was attending to patients at the hospital. "I fought elections from here because of my wife. She has been working here. Friday night, when accusations were being levelled against her, she was with patients. She called me up on Friday. She came to know about the incident before reaching home. She then immediately reached here," Sidhu said.
The minister also said that the mishap was an accident and nobody had done it intentionally. While he admitted that there was a "big negligence", he asked his detractors not to politicisethe matter. "It was an unfortunate incident. I talked to few people who told me that some people were standing on the rail track and some were sitting on a stone near the track," the minister said.
"When effigy of Ravana was lit, some people moved back. Then the train came with a great speed and there was no horn and people did not come to know (about the approaching train) and it happened in a matter of just one or two seconds," he alleged.
SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia also accused the former local MLA of "running away from the accident site".