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Amritsar train accident: After calling it’trespassing’, Railways agrees to probe

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The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety will probe the Amritsar tragedy in which 60 people who were celebrating the festival were mowed down by a passing train said The Indian Railways on Friday. It has been nearly two weeks after it had ruled out any investigation.

The railways had termed it as a “case of trespassing” after the accident occured.

However, the railways said since the CCRS can conduct an inquiry even in those cases where it is not mandatory as per law and rules, it will do the same in this case as well.

It said that the accident has “become a matter of great public discourse” and has raised concerns about safety of people tresspassing on railway tracks.

Zee News quoted the railways saying, “Gurjeet Singh Aujla, MP from Amritsar, met Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and personally handed over his letter dated October 23 and requested for an inquiry by Commissioner of Railway Safety in this incident. Ministry of Railways has considered this request and other facts, circumstances and legal provisions.”

It also added that as per law, it is not mandatory to conduct an inquiry by Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety in such cases but it is not impermeable either.

Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety, Lucknow, has ordered a statutory inquiry into the circumstances that led to the accident, the railways said. It also added that prima facie the transporter does not appear to be responsible for the accident.

Sixty people were crushed to death by a train coming from Jalandhar on October 19, when they were watching an effigy of Ravana burn at a ground near railway tracks at Joda Phatak.

Railways washed off its hands from the matter saying that they had not been intimidated about any such event in advance and pointed out that the spectators on the tracks were trespassers.

It had neither ordered a probe nor paid any compensation in the case.

Days after the accident, the railway board and Manoj Sinha, the minister of state for railways, had termed the tragedy a case of trespassing.

Also read: Amritsar train accident: Absconding event organiser releases video; pleads not guilty