Amritsar train tragedy: Dussehra event organiser denies allegations

Saurabh Madan Mithu, Event organiser. Source: ANI Photo

He also said a thorough investigation needs to be done into the matter.

Highlights

  • Saurabh Madan Mithu, the organiser of the Dussehra event in Amritsar denied responsibility for the accident
  • He said he had sought permission from police and had urged for more security
  • He said he fled as he got scared when people started pelting stones

Five days after the horrendous Amritsar tragedy that killed 61, Saurabh Madan Mithu, the main organiser of the Dusshera event, appeared in an interview on TV channels on Wednesday. He also added that a thorough investigation should be conducted into the matter at the earliest.

Related: In Photos: 60 dead as train runs over people watching Ravan effigy burning

The organiser also clarified that he had sought permission from the police to organise the event and urged the authorities to deploy more security personnel as they were expecting a good footfall.

“I am not at all responsible for the accident as I organised the event within the permitted boundary. There was an 8-feet tall boundary wall between the event venue and railway land. People came and stood there. We even made the announcements and told them to move. Nobody realised that those two trains were moving in their direction,” Mithu.

Watch the full interview here:

“Both local and railway police were present at the spot. The fire department was also present there and all arrangements pertaining to safety were made. We had informed the authorities that around 10 to 15 thousand people will be present at the event,” he added.

When quizzed as to why he fled from the spot moments after the incident, Mithu said that he got scared after some of the people pelted stones at him and his family.

“Some 20-25 people started running towards me after people were killed by a speeding train. All my relatives were present at the event. I was afraid that the mob will also attack them which is why I ran from there,” he said.

The accident took place on October 19 in Choura Bazar near Jhoda Phatak area of Amritsar after a train ran over the crowd, standing along train tracks to watch an effigy of Ravan being burnt. At least 59 people died while 57 sustained injuries in the tragedy.