Tel Aviv: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that he would decide on taking action after receiving the report of a probe into the tragic Amritsar train accident in which 59 Dussehra revellers were killed after being mowed down by a train.
Singh, who is on a five-day visit to Israel since Monday, said that the probe he has ordered into the Amritsar accident is underway and its report to ascertain where the responsibility lies is awaited. Asked if he considered cutting short his visit to Israel, the chief minister told PTI that his trip was planned a long time ago, “I definitely considered calling it off in the wake of the train accident”.
“I did postpone my departure by a couple of days and spent the whole of Saturday in Amritsar. Even before leaving on Sunday, I spent all my time reviewing the situation and discussing it with my Cabinet colleagues and officials, and left only after being satisfied with the way things were being handled on the ground.
“Even after coming here, I am in constant touch with my cabinet colleagues and other officials on the ground and I am reviewing the situation every day. If at all I feel the situation warrants, I will naturally leave and get back home without a second thought,” Singh said.
His Israel visit was criticised by the Opposition parties with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), BJP and AAP lashing out at the Chief Minister for his “indifference” and “insensitivity”, less than 48 hours after the train mishap. Singh has claimed that at the moment, the situation is very much in control and relief/rehabilitation work is totally on track.
“The probe I had ordered into the tragic incident is also underway and I am waiting for its report to ascertain where the responsibility lies and what action to take. “A committee of three ministers, headed by Brahm Mohindra, is supervising the relief operations and I’m in touch with them on a regular basis,” Singh said.
He is heading a high-level delegation to Israel to strengthen Punjab’s cooperation with it in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, dairy farming and waste water management, besides trying to attract investments in the state. Fifty-nine people were killed last week after a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilt onto railway tracks while watching the burning of Ravana effigy was run over by a train in Amritsar. At least 300 people were at the spot watching ‘Ravana dahan’ at a ground near the tracks.