Amritsar train accident: 25 Dussehra events including ill-fated Dhobi Ghat function did not have clearances, claim local body officials

By: | Published: October 23, 2018 8:54 AM

Amritsar train accident: The organiser of the Dhobi Ghat Dussehra, however, claimed Monday that he had the necessary permission to hold the function.

amritsar tragedyEstate Officer, Municipal Corporation Amritsar (MCA), Sushant Bhatia has said that four events Chheharta, Bhadar Kali, Focal Point and Haripura had the “required approvals”.

Amritsar train accident: The tragedy at the Joda Phatak in Punjab’s Amritsar on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra on Friday, in which 59 people lost their lives, has raised many questions. One such question is whether the organiser of the event did follow the security norms and guidelines. Days after the incident, it has been learnt that twenty-five of the 29 Dussehra events organised in Amritsar on October 19 did not have the clearance from the city’s municipal corporation. This list includes the ill-fated Dussehra event at Dhobi Ghat, according to Indian Express report.

Estate Officer, Municipal Corporation Amritsar (MCA), Sushant Bhatia has said that four events Chheharta, Bhadar Kali, Focal Point and Haripura had the “required approvals”. MCA commissioner Sonali Giri has vowed to take action against the all Dussehra committees that organised these events without the approval of the MCA, “including the organisers of the Dhobi Ghat function.”, as per IE report.

This has led to a feud between local officials and police. Local officials claimed that according to norms, Dussehra committees need to obtain approvals from the MCA, police and the departments of Public Works and Health, with the district magistrate granting “final permission”. “Amritsar has a police commissionerate system and the police are supposed to give all the permissions. The police commissioner even has the right to impose Section 144. In the absence of a commissionerate system, the responsibility is with the civil administration. Even arms licenses are issued by the police commissioner and not the DC. So we had no role in giving permissions for the Dhobi Ghat event or any Dussehra event,” Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha was quoted as saying by IE.

The organiser of the Dhobi Ghat Dussehra, however, 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. He also claimed that several announcements were made from the stage of the event, warning people to vacate the railway track. Saurabh is a son of Municipal Councillor Vijay Madan, as per PTI report.

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