Amritsar train accident: Protesters removed from track, train services resume after 40 hours

PTI Amritsar | Updated on October 21, 2018

Railway Protection Force personnel guards a railway crossing near the accident site, in Amritsar, Sunday, Oct 21, 2018.   -  PTI

Over 40 hours after the shocking accident in Amritsar in which 59 Dussehra revellers were mowed down by a train, protesters were cleared off the tracks and services resumed on Sunday afternoon, a railway spokesperson said.

The railways got the clearance from local authorities at 12:30 pm, the spokesperson said.

“The first goods train started from Manawala to Amritsar at 2.16 pm,” said Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar. This train will be followed by mail/express trains, he said.

Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Railways), Firozpur Division, S Sudharkar, told PTI, “Train services have resumed on the affected rail track (Joda Phatak). A goods train was allowed to run on this track.”

Despite resumption of train services, the railways has cancelled 17 trains, short-terminated 14 and diverted seven. Earlier in the day, the Punjab Police removed the protesters from the tracks who were staging a sit-in.

When they were removed, the agitated protestors resorted to stone-pelting and clashed with security personnel. A Punjab Police commando and a photojournalist were injured during the clash, officials said.

The protestors were raising slogans against the state government and demanding resignation of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

The Punjab Police has deployed its personnel, including commandoes to manage the crowd. The Rapid Action Force is also present in the Joda Patak area.

The district administration has said that out of 59 people who were mowed down by the speeding Jalandhar-Amritsar train Friday, 40 have been identified.

Published on October 21, 2018

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