Under fire from the opposition, Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday questioned the railways' decision to exonerate the driver of the train that ploughed through a crowd standing on the track to watch a Ravan effigy burn in the Joda Phatak area of Amritsar on Dussehra.
Speaking on the incident, Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha, said, "I believe that the statement of Amritsar Police Commissioner must be an authorised statement of Punjab government".
The railways said it was not responsible for the incident. This train will be followed by mail/express trains, he said. "Action should be taken against the train driver as well". The Punjab police has now made a decision to issue a look out notice against Madan and a dozen other organisers as they want to record their statement pertaining to the incident.
The maximum speed of the train, which was a Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit (DEMU) is 96 kmph, once brakes are applied, this kind of train stops completely in about 300 metres if empty, and in 600 metres if full, officials said.
Police moved the protesters off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control a crowd of hundreds that gathered around the scene of the disaster. The party has accused the organisers of "criminal negligence".
A 2012 government report described the loss of 15,000 passengers to rail accidents every year in India as a "massacre". In the official statement the train driver added that the train had nearly come to a halt but after he witnessed a large number of people attacking the train, considering the safety of the passengers in the train, he continued with his journey.
The agitated protesters blocking the track were removed and train services resumed this afternoon, 40 hours after the horrific accident, a railway spokesperson said. In November 2016, the Patna-Indore express derailed in Uttar Pradesh state in the middle of the night, killing 139 people.
"As far as I know, there was no stone throwing at the spot of the accident", said Mohkampura police station officer Sukhminder Singh, adding that the train had not slowed down either. The police have appealed people to call on 0183 2220205 if they have information related to baby's parents or relatives.