Amritsar train accident: Driver detained, says had been given green signal

At least 58 killed during religious festival in India by speeding train

People and police gather Oct. 19 at the site of a deadly train accident in Amritsar India

Two days after the railway track tragedy in Amritsar, locals staged a protest on Sunday demanding action against the organisers of the Dussehra event and the train driver.

Protesters clashed with security personnel and pelted them with stones at the Amritsar train accident site after they were removed from the railway tracks, police officials said.

Police officials said that reinforcements were rushed to the area near the Joda Phatak (railway gate) where the situation turned violent on Sunday afternoon.

The Punjab and Railway Police had on Saturday detained the driver of the DMU (diesel multiple unit) at the Ludhiana railway station and questioned him regarding the mishap.

On Friday, 19 October, a crowd of over 4,000 people gathered at Amritsar to watch a massive fireworks display. "An FIR is [registered] against unidentified people, even though the organiser is identified as Saurav Madaan", he said.

Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had earlier on Saturday said that the railway ministry is not to be blamed for any lapses leading to the disaster.

Mayor of Amritsar-Karamjit Singh Rintu - has said organisers of the programme put the show together without even applying for any permission for the Ravan Dahan celebration.

People standing on the tracks did not realise that the train was approaching fast due to the noise of the firecrackers during the burning effigy. We don't have any confirmation on the numbers who have been impacted by the incident.

The railways has maintained that it was not at fault because it had no intimation about the Dussehra event.

Singh, whose government is facing flak for its tardy response to the tragedy and for not doing enough for the affected families, also reviewed the relief and rehabilitation work with the Crisis Management Group of ministers headed by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, former MLA and wife of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, was the chief guest.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in Punjab, including BJP, AAP and SAD have called for stringent against those responsible for the event and dismissal of Sidhu from the state government. After that, the first train ran on the track since the accident took place on Friday night.

Badal also demanded compensation of Rs 1 crore per person and government jobs for the families of those killed in the tragic train accident.

He acknowledged that guards were asked to be on alert and organizers in the past used to make regular announcements to clear the tracks.

A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India, Oct. 20, 2018.

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