"Bihar govt responsible for train tragedy"
Minister of State for Railways, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Tuesday said the Bihar government is responsible for the train tragedy that killed 37 people on Monday.
"What happened yesterday was all because of the Bihar government. The Nitish Kumar government is solely responsible," Chowdhury told reporters.
A speeding train on Monday morning crushed to death at least 37 people at Dhamara Ghat Railway Station near Saharsa city in Bihar, said police.
Over 40 others were injured in the incident.
Many Kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva) were standing on the railway tracks when at the speeding Saharsa-Patna Rajya Rani Express crushed to death at least 37 of them.
"So far we have reports of 37 casualties. Over 40 have been injured," a railway official in Bihar, PN Rai, told reporters.
Railway spokesperson Amitav Prabhakar said: "The train was passing through Line Number 2 when it ran over some people."
After the accident, the train was stopped and driver was beaten up by angry locals.
They also set some coaches on fire.
"Angry locals have set the train on fire. They have not allowed officials to reach the site," said Prabhakar.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced compensation and assured a probe into the incident.
"The state government will give Rs 1.5 lakh to the families of each victim along with Rs 50,000 from the Chief Minister's fund," said Kumar.
"The Railways will conduct an inquiry into the incident. Please maintain peace. The state government will provide all assistance to victims," he said.
The victims were returning after offering morning prayers at the Katyayani temple near popular Hindu pilgrimage site Dhamara Ghat.
(Posted on 20-08-2013)