He said that he had informed the police and had taken their permission for the event but not the railways. Earlier, Sub Divisional Magistrate Rajesh Sharma had said that 61 people, including women and children, have died and at least 72 injured have been admitted to hospitals.
"The incident was not a railways' fault. The toll can rise", State Police Chief Suresh Arora told Reuters, adding that emergency officials were trying to determine the extent of the disaster on the outskirts of the city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab.
In their letter seeking the certificate, the organisers had also asked for security arrangements, citing the expected presence of Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife, former MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu, at the event. Dussehra celebrations are held there every year. "Everyone was running helter-skelter and suddenly the train crashed into the crowds of people", he said.
With Navjot Singh Sidhu and other ministers accompanying him, the CM checked on the injured at Amandeep Hospital, Civil Hospital and Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to say he was extremely saddened by the "heart-wrenching tragedy" and urged officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured and the victims' families. The Home Secretary and the Health Secretary, along with DGP Law & Order, have also left for Amritsar.
This is because the Railways Ministry is not calling this an accident - as its passengers were not affected and its assets were not damaged.
"Ravan effigy was being burnt 70-80 m from the gate, when the effigy fell, people present there ran towards the railway track, at the time a train was passing and level crossing there was shut", the official said. However, the service remains poorly funded and accidents are relatively common.
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In the audio, Madaan could be heard boasting about the people standing on the tracks.
Witnesses told media outlets that as crowds spilled onto the train tracks, the booming of fireworks and the general celebratory din may have masked the sound of the oncoming train.
The government will do everything possible to help the district authorities to tackle the unprecedented situation, said the Chief Minister, adding that a thorough probe will be conducted into the incident, including how and why an effigy was allowed to be burnt on the railway track.
The commuter train was traveling at a high rate of speed, Reutersreports. At midsections, there is no railway staff posted.
"We hope that the normalcy will be restored in the area by Sunday evening as the number of protestors have come down since Saturday", a senior police officer said.
Was permission granted for the event?