CHANDIGARH: It has been almost one year since 60 people were mowed down by a fast-moving train
during a Dussehra celebration in Amritsar. The then Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was also the sitting MLA of Amritsar (East), where the tragedy took place, said he will be taking care of the kin of the deceased.
It was October 19 2018, when people were gathered onto the railway tracks to watch a Ravana effigy burn on Dussehra at Joda Phatak in Amritsar, before the tragic accident took place. Sidhu's wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest for the event.
Sidhu said he will adopt the families that had lost their earning member and bear their monthly kitchen expenses, give free education for the next of kin of all victims and also provide government jobs.
Tuesday, October 8, is Dussehra again. It has been eleven months since the incident but Sidhu has failed to honour his promises.
Sita Devi, wife of deceased Gurvinder said, "I am taking loans to pay fees of my daughter. Sidhu said he will pay for my daughter’s education he has not given a single penny."
Many children of the deceased have either dropped out of schools or are working as well as going to school by paying from their own pocket. A few children are studying as their families had taken loans. W0hile a few others are dependent on their relatives.
Some families bought their groceries on credit and now the shopkeepers have refused to give them more supplies. "If no promises were to be fulfilled then why did Sidhu gave us false hope,’’ said one of the
members of affected families.
Deepak, who has now completed his civil engineer’s diploma after the tragedy took away his father says, "Now I am educating my younger brother, the politicians only make false promises and nothing else.’’
"My son was lost in the tragedy, he was the sole bread earner of the family," said Ramesh Kumar speaking to TNIE.
A few days back thirty families, whose family members were killed in the train accident last year, staged a protest outside Sidhu’s house demanding him to fulfil the promises he made. The protesters also demanded that responsibility be fixed for the accident and the guilty be punished.
Despite repeated tries Sidhu was not available for comments.