AMRITSAR TRAGEDY ENTIRELY MAN-MADE: BADAL
-FORMER CM EXPRRESSES “SHOCK AND DISBELIEF’ OVER CM DESERTING HIS
-PEOPLE FOR FOREIGN JAUNTS
-SIDHUS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AVOIDABLE TRAGEDY: BADAL
Chandigarh October 23 –
Describing the Dussehra-day bloodbath at Amritsar as “a man-made tragedy of an unprecedented magnitude” in thestate, Former Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today accused the Punjab government of “shocking and heartless non-seriousness”, adding that nothing symbolizes this non-seriousness and indifference more than the decision of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to desert the people of the state in their hour of extreme grief.
“I find it insensitive and careless beyond belief that the Chief Minister chose to leave his state and his people to their own fate and decided to proceed on an utterly avoidable foreign trip. In his shoes, I would have cancelled the trip. I would prefer to spend this time addressing and minimizing the misery of the people of my
state in their hour of most gruesome, man-made tragedy in decades,” said Mr. Badal while talking to media persons after a delegation of the SAD-BJP called on Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore for his intervention to ensure justice to the victims and punishment to the guilty in the Amritsar tragedy.
The former Chief Minister, who earlier accompanied a joint SAD-BJP delegation led by SAD
Prsesident Sukhbir Singh Badal and BJP State President Shwet Malik to submit a memorandum
to the Governor, said that the tragedy could have been easily avoided if the Navjot Singh Sidhu and his spouse had displayed even the elementary sense of responsibility by refusing to be associated with an event without the appropriate government permission.”Thousands had been brought to the function by the organizers who enjoy the direct patronage and protection of the Sidhus at the site which was highly vulnerable and tragedy-prone as it lay right adjacent to a busy railway line where long distance trains routinely ply.” Mr Badal said If they had sought government permission, it would in all probability have been denied or been granted only in consultation with the Railways.”
Mr. Badal said that he had been surprised by the brazen-ness being shown by the culprits of this greatest tragedy in decades. “Instead of showing any remorse and humility, they are going about like boastful champions, glorifying their role in the gruesome dance of death. This is the height of being thick-skinned and of shamelessness.”
Mr Badal reiterated his party’s demand for the immediate sack of Navjot Singh Sidhu from the Punjab Council of Ministers and registration of criminal cases against all those responsible, including the prime accused Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, his wife Navjot Kaur, the Congress Councillor and Dussehra Organiser, Saurabh Madan Mithu for their part in the tragedy.
The site, said Mr. Badal, belonged to the local bodies department of which Navjot Singh Sidhu is the minister. “They misused their clout in the government in showing scant respect to law and to considerations of public safety in pushing ahead with the function so close to a busy railway line merely to showcase their own presence there. The price of their craze for publicity was paid with 62 precious lives merely for a few minutes of personal glory by the minister Navjot SIngh and his wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu.”
The former Chief Minister said that tragedy could easily have been averted if the timing of the climax of the function had not been inordinately delayed merely to accommodate the VIPs. “They should have ensured that the function, if permitted by the authorities, did not clash with the train timings. Confirming the schedule of the trains from the railways was the easiest course. People should never have been made to wait for Navjot Kaur Sidhu. Announcements from the stage confirmed that the organizers were aware of the lethal danger from the approaching trains and the so-called willingness of the people to be to becrushed by these trains out of their love for the Chief Guest. But instead of intervening to stop such encouragements to tragedy, Navjot Kaur Sidhu herself blessed such announcements. This is unbelievable,”he said.
Mr. Badal said that the conduct of Madam Navjot Kaur Sidhu after the tragedy was even more shockingly, insensitive, irresponsible and inhuman. “It was her duty to stay on the site of a tragedy which she had herself caused to happen, instead of fleeing the scene, leaving the people to their own fate. She re-emerged only after the grieving and agitated people were controlled by the administration, allowing her to indulge in publicity-driven visits to the hospitals” said the former Chief Minister.
Mr. Badal regretted that instead of owning up to responsibility, the villains of the tragedy had been busy brazenly painting themselves as heroes. “They are working overtime to shift focus from their own culpability and to put the blame on others”, he added.
Earlier, a delegation of the SAD-BJP called on the Governor Shri V P Singh Badnore and asked him to intervene and use his good offices to secure justice for the victims of the tragedy.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Governor which demanded the sack of the local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu from the cabinet. It also demanded the registration of criminal cases under section 304 against Sidhu, his wife Navjot Kaur and chief organizer of Dusehra function Saurabh Madan Mithu and other organizers.
The two parties also demanded that an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court be instituted to arrive at the truth behind the tragedy.
The Memorandum also demanded that compensation of Rs One crore plus a government job to one member of each of the affected families be ensured by the government. It also demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs to each of the seriously wounded persons. Among the other important demands in the Memorandum are the immediate shifting of all the senior officers of the district to ensure a free and fair probe.
The delegation members included ,S. Sukhbir Singh Badal President, Shiromani Akali Dal, S.BalwinderSingh Bhunder Member Parliament .Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra Member Parliament .Former Cabinet Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema .Former Cabinet Minister S. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Former Cabinet Minister Bibi. Jagir Kaur Former Cabinet Minister S. Bikram Singh Majithia Former Cabinet Minister S. Baldev Singh Mann Former Cabinet Minister Prof. Virsa Singh Valtoha Former CPS. BJP leaders Sh. Shavait Malik M.P, President BJP, Punjab State Sh. Tarun Chug, Senior Leader BJP, Punjab Sh. Kamal Sharma, Former President BJP, Punjab Sh. Madan Mohan Mittal Former Cabinet Minister Sh. Som Parkash MLA Sh. Ashwani Sharma Ex MLA Sh. Manoranjan Kalia Former Cabinet Minister Sh. Arun Narang MLA .Sh.Tikshan Sood,