Amritsar tragedy: Driver is lying say eyewitnesses, slam statement

TIL Desk/National/Amritsar/ Locals on Sunday came out hard against the statement of the driver who has said that the Dussehra revellers at the spot of the accident had pelted stones at the train. In a statement given to police as well as the railway authorities, the driver of the train, which mowed down 59 people watching a Ravan effigy being burnt on October 19, said he had not stopped his train because of stone pelting from the crowd at the accident spot.

“I was at the spot. Leave alone stopping, the train did not even slow down. It seemed as if the driver wanted to mow us down. The train passed us in a matter of seconds. “Is it logically possible for us to pelt stones at the train when so many people were dead and injured around us? Is it possible for us to get our bearings after such an incident and pelt stones at a speeding train? The driver is lying,” Shailender Singh Shally, councillor, ward number 46, Amritsar, said.

The driver in his statement has said that he applied “emergency brakes” as he saw the crowd on the tracks but “still some people were caught in the path of the train”. He also said that he continuously honked to get people off the tracks. The driver said people started throwing stones at the train when it was “almost on the verge of stopping” and so, keeping in mind the safety of his passengers, he continued towards Amritsar and informed officials there about the accident. Onlookers rubbished the driver’s claims and said the train did not slow down anywhere near the spot.

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