Punjab

SAD rejects judicial inquiry into Dussehra train tragedy, terms indictment of five MC employees as travesty of justice

Punjab Tribune Bureau | July 04, 2020 09:00 PM

Virsa Singh Valtoha says Priyanka Gandhi secured clean chit for Sidhu couple

 Amritsar– The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today termed the indictment of five municipal corporation employees in the Amritsar Dussehra train tragedy as a travesty of justice and asserted that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had a direct role in securing a clean chit for the Sidhu couple including former Local Bodies minister Navjot Sidhu and his wife Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu.

Addressing a press conference here former chief parliamentary secretary Virsa Singh Valtoha said the judicial probe by a retired district judge had wrongfully framed junior officers of the municipal corporation. He said the employees could not have refused any directive from the Local Bodies minister who was also the sitting legislator from Amritsar East constituency where the controversial Dussehra programme was held in contravention of all rules and regulations.

Valtoha, who was accompanied by Harmeet Singh Dhillon, Talbir Singh Gill and Gurpartap Tikka, said the five employees should not be victimized. They said the real culprits in the case – the Sidhu couple and Congress councilor Mithu Madaan should be proceeded against for causing the death of 61 persons who were mowed down by a speeding train when effigies were being burnt near the railway track at Joda Phatak as part of the Dussehra celebrations.

Valtoha said it was shameful that the Congress government had crumbled under pressure from Priyanka Gandhi who was instrumental in getting the Sidhu couple off the hook. “In doing so it has played a cruel joke on the families of the 61 victims of the Dussehra tragedy by indulging in a cover up exercise following direct orders from the Gandhi family that Priyanka favourite Navjot Sidhu should not be proceeded against in any manner whatsoever. “We reject the magisterial probe and demand that a high level inquiry be held into the entire episode to ensure the guilty are punished. We also demand that a criminal case be registered against the Sidhu couple and Mithu Madaan who were directly responsible for the tragedy”.

Valtoha said even the victims of the Dusshera tragedy were dissatisfied with the findings of the judicial probe and the fact that not one person has been brother to book in the last two years in the case. He said Navjot Sidhu had failed the betrayed the trust of the victims also by failing to look into their welfare during the three month lockdown even though he had made tall promises of adopting children, monthly payments to victims and jobs to their family members. “Instead of fulfilling his promises Sidhu made fun of their plight during a candle light vigil held by him along with PCC President Sunil Jakhar”.

The SAD leaders said a fire officer was being proceeded against for sending a fire tender and water tanker to the Dussehra programme spot without the permission of the municipal corporation. “The fire officer apparently had no choice in the matter because it was advertised that the Local Body minister would attend the function”. He said similarly other officials had been found guilty for failing to ensure no function was held in the area and for allowing posters and banners of the event to be put up without approval. He said even in this case the Corporation employees were helpless before the Local Body minister and councilor Mithu Madaan who was calling the shots with the patronage of Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu. 

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