Death on Punjab tracks: Rail traffic resumes after cops, protesters clash

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The Amritsar Police has launched a search operation to find the parents or kin of a 10-year-old baby, found at the tracks near Jaura Phatak - the site where 61 Dussehra revelers were mowed down to death by a Jalandhar-bound DMU train on Friday.

Witnesses and survivors said the deafening noise of fire crackers masked the sound of the approaching train.

A near-empty passenger train was plied on the railway section amid tight security measures on Sunday evening. The railways said it was not responsible for the tragedy. He told the Amritsar official that the incident happened some 340 metres from an interlocked level crossing. "It was a clear case of trespassing", he said. The probe will cover if mandatory permissions for holding the function were given.

The driver in his statement has said that he applied "emergency brakes" as he saw the crowd on the tracks but "still some people were caught in the path of the train".

Train services had resumed a few hours later.

Investigators said victims did not hear the train because the drone of the locomotive was drowned out by firecrackers.

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60 dead and at least 50 more injured after train crashes into crowd in India

He also said the gate-man should have seen the people on the track and alerted the driver. Reports suggest that railways will not be providing any compensation to the families of the deceased. "We have to come out of our shells if the organisation has to flourish.", he said.

The train driver has been detained at the Ludhiana railway station and questioned by the Punjab and Railway Police Saturday.

Another train had narrowly missed the crowds two minutes earlier, officials said. The cargo train also had empty bogies. Is it logically possible for us to pelt stones at the train when so many people were dead and injured around us? Many killed were migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who was in the U.S., cancelled all his engagements and was set to return.

The core committee, which met here under the chairmanship of former chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal and was attended by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and other senior leaders, rejected the magisterial inquiry ordered by the Congress government and demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of those killed in the train tragedy, along with Rs 50,000 for the injured.

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