Navjot Sidhu defends wife Navjot Kaur on Amritsar train tragedy, questions train's speed

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Punjab Tourism Minister Navjoy Sidhu has defended his wife Navjot Kaur over the Amritsar train tragedy while questioning the speed at which the train that ran over and killed dozens of people, was running on the ill-fated evening.

Navjoy Sidhu
file photo

Speaking to reporters for the first time since the tragedy killed over 60 people, Sidhu asked, “How can the Railways give a clean chit to its driver and other staff without even conducting a probe?” He asked why the train was running at ‘such a great speed?’ “Why didn’t the gateman inform the train driver that hundreds of people were standing on the tracks and tell him to slow down?,” Sidhu asked while speaking to reporters.
In his statement, the cricketer-turned-politician also questioned the haste with which the railways had concluded its probe. News agency PTI quoted him as saying, “What sort of commission did you set up that you gave a clean chit to him (loco-pilot) in one day. Either the driver was permanent or he was engaged for one day. Why do not you say?”
“When you stop (the train) for cow, you even get an FIR registered if someone is found sitting on a track. And you ran over. People and you did not stop. And what was the speed of train? It was more than 100 km per hour – Zip it goes,” he added.
The Railways had earlier said that it was not informed by the organisers or the local administration that a Dussehra event was being organised near the tracks. It had termed the tragedy a case of trespassing and ruled out any probe.
The opposition Akali Dal in Punjab has demanded the removal of Sidhu from the cabinet adding that his wife be booked for murder in the case. Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest of the dussehra event when the speeding train killed over 60 people. The organiser of the event has gone into hiding.

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