Indian relatives carry the dead body of Rammilan, who was killed when a train ploughed into a crowd of revellers, during a cremation ceremony at a cremation ground in Amritsar on October 20, 2018.
"Anyway, the speed of the train was such that even if people wanted to pelt stones, by the time they collected them, the train would have disappeared from sight". Leave alone stopping, the train did not even slow down.
Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani said it was not a "railway accident" but a case of trespassing on rail tracks.
A large number of people live in the area with homes on both sides of the railroad track, she said.
Emergency brakes could also derail the train at high speed, the official explained.
Police moved the protesters off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control a crowd of hundreds that gathered around the scene of the disaster. The protesters were booked for rioting and attempt to murder. He also directed that ration, clothing, medicines etc be provided to the families of the victims as most were from the economically weaker sections of the society. The police, in turn, resorted to a mild baton charge.
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Protests staged by residents against the Punjab government and the railways turned violent on Sunday.
"As far as I know, there has been no stone pelting at the spot of the accident when the train passed", Sukhminder Singh, SHO of Mohkampura police station under whose jurisdiction the area falls, told news agency PTI.
The injured have been admitted to seven hospitals, the officials said.
People watching the Dusshera proceedings from the railway tracks near Joda Phatak in Amritsar on Friday were crushed by the speeding Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train. The protestors were raising slogans against the state government and demanding resignation of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The Punjab government headed by Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the train tragedy.
Sidhu is being targeted as the Congress leaders behind the function are his close aides in Amritsar who went ahead with the function without mandatory permissions. At a press conference, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said while his party's first concern remained the rehabilitation and relief of those injured and those who had lost their loved ones, it was "cruel" of the railways to reject an inquiry into the incident.