Amritsar tragedy: Organiser says he took permission, warned spectators

He said Dussehra event was organised within the four walls of 'dhobi ghat' ground while the railway track was at some distance from the site

amritsar train tragedy, saurabh madan
A screengrab of the video

The organiser of an ill-fated Dussehra event here which saw at least 59 of its spectators being mowed down by a train hurtling through the crowd spilling onto a nearby railway track, claimed Monday that he had the necessary permission to hold the function.

The event organiser, Saurabh Madan, purportedly made the claim in a video saying that he had the permission from the police to organise the event.

The son of Municipal Councillor Vijay Madan, Saurabh also claimed that several announcements were made from the stage of the event, warning people to vacate the railway track.

His family had gone underground ever since the incident occurred.

Expressing his heartfelt condolences to the family members of the deceased, Saurabh said, "The incident was highly unfortunate."

He also claimed, "Some people having animosity with him are blowing the matter out of proportion and trying to give political colour to the incident."

"On that day, the announcement were made five to ten times from the stage to vacate the railway track because any train could come any time," he said in the video.

Dushera was organised after obtaining necessary permission from the Police Department, he said.

Madan further said the event was very much in the notice of the Municipal Corporation and that was why the fire tenders were deployed there for the people's safety.

He said Dussehra event was organised within the four walls of 'dhobi ghat' ground while the railway track was at some distance from the site.

Moreover, the sitting arrangement for the public was made inside the ground and not on railway track, he said.

"Those people, who were mowed down by the train, were standing on the railway track. They were not present in dhobi ghat ground," he said.

"All happened within a minute," he said adding that this incident was not a deliberate act.

At the end of the video, he urged people with folded hands with tears in his eyes, seeking their help for his family to overcome the situation. He said his entire family was shocked.

Following the Amritsar train incident, some protesters had even attacked Madan's residence and broke windowpanes by pelting stones.

Thereafter, Madan family had gone to undisclosed location and their mobile phones were switched off.

The police force has been deployed outside his residence as a precautionary measure.