Over 50 feared dead as train runs them over during Dussehra celebrations

A crowd gathers at the site of the train accident

A crowd gathers at the site of the train accident Credit Prabhjot Gill AP

Meanwhile, police said that permission was given for events at 20 places in Dhobi Ghat.

Another local, named Raju, said a man was still looking for the body of his father who died in the incident.

Another witness said the victims didn't realize that a train was coming their way because the fireworks were too loud.

But Kaur, whose husband, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, is a former Indian Test cricketer and now a state minister, said effigies were burned at six places in Amritsar and a lot of them were in fields near the tracks.

The state chief minister has ordered an inquiry to ascertain whether permission was granted - and by whom.

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Two policemen, including a Punjab Police commando, and a photojournalist were injured in the violence. When asked if she was aware that the organisers didn't have necessary permissions, Ms Sidhu said it wasn't possible for her to check permissions given for the events she attends. "Moreover, nobody had applied for the permission with the Amritsar Municipal Corporation", said Amritsar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Sonali Giri.

Anger turned on Navjyot Kaur Sidhu, a former Punjab State lawmaker who came late for the event and then left just before the accident occurred.

"I offer my deepest sympathies over tragic consequences of an accident on railways in Punjab".

Municipal corporation councillor Vijay Madan and her son Sourabh Madan Mithu, the main organisers of the Dussehra celebration, are still absconding with other family members.

In the wake of the disaster, sporadic protests broke out by the tracks, with people calling for action against local authorities and the train driver.

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They did not hear the train approach as they watched a firecracker-filled effigy of the demon king Ravana burn. However, it is reported that they never visited the spot to analyse the security arrangements and risks.

"Why did authorities allow the fireworks display so close to the railroad track, '" he asked on TV.

Singh said only 25 bodies had been identified so far. While 16 trains were diverted and reached their destination through a different route, 18 trains were short terminated, Northern Railways spokesperson Deepak Kumar said to PTI.

As the situation worsened, the Punjab Police cleared a section of the railway track which was blocked by agitators. "The event took place at a place adjoining the railway land in private property", he said. Another eyewitness, Vicky Thakur, said the area was not suitable to hold such a huge crowd. The protestors demanded that the missing person be traced and also adequate compensation should be given to the families of the victims.

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