At least 61 people lost their lives and close to 100 injured on Friday when a speeding train sheared them down while they were celebrating Dussehra.

The accident happened near Joda Phatak area of Amritsar where a large number of people were watching the burning of Ravan’s statue while standing along the railway tracks when the train compressed them down. The train was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar.

Shiromani Akali Dal General Secretary Bikram Majithia blamed Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who was the chief guest at the event for the tragic train accident in Punjab’s Amritsar.

Majithia said while he went to visit the site, the witness reported that Mrs Sidhu ran away from the accident site rather than helping people.

While on the other hand, Punjab’s Minister for Culture and Tourism, Navjot Singh Sidhu visited the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and met the victims of the Amritsar train accident on Saturday.

Speaking to mediapersons, Sidhu said that The accident occurred within a matter minutes when the train came at a high speed. The train did not blow the horn.

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However, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered an investigation into the incident.

After being informed about the Amritsar tragedy, chairman of the Indian Railway Board Ashwani Lohani rushed to the spot, while the state government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the families of those who were killed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the dead and Rs 50,000 for the injured. He also directed officials to provide immediate assistance.

The Punjab state government has also declared Saturday a day of mourning in the state. Offices and educational institutions will remain shut.

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