New Delhi/Bengaluru: Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) leader Sitaram Yechury on Sunday slammed the Centre over the Muzaffarnagar train derailment disaster and said it was a condemnable man-made tragedy for which the Railways is responsible.
Yechury told ANI, "We strongly condemn the issue of Muzaffarnagar train derailment and we think strong measures must be taken to enhance on Railways safety."
He further stated that the loss of human lives was due to the gross negligence of the Railways to allow the train to travel without alerting the driver about the repair works which were done on the tracks.
"This is the most careless attitude of this government. The Indian Railways has stopped spending money, resources and moreover attention on Railway safety," he said.
Taking a dig at the Centre, the CPI(M) leader asserted that the central government, instead of spending money on the Railway safety, which is the most important constitution in our country and unites people of the country, was seeking to privatise the property.
Yechury lashed the opposition and said, "The Central Government who decided to merge both the budgets and to curtain Railway's own resources to funds for Railways safety is completely responsible for the tragic incident."
He also added that the last three years have been the worst years in terms of Railways safety in the history of independent India.
"If the government provides statistics of last three years over the number of deaths, injuries and displacements, then it would be clear that these three years have been the worst years in terms of Railways safety in the history of independent India," he said.
Senior Congress leader and former railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge also blamed negligence on part of the government for the tragic accident, saying the ruling dispensation is not spending on safety of passengers despite claiming to have lots of funds.
Kharge accused authorities of not providing compensation despite them claiming to have lots of funds, saying that "they have increased the fare and increased waiting ticket charges but still not spending on safety."
"We expected this government will do better because they have a lot of resources and they have joined it to finance department. In spite of that, they're not doing. It means it's the failure of the government," he said.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been lodged against unknown persons under various sections including 304 A of IPC (death due to negligence).
Other charges include 287 -negligent conduct w.r.t machinery, 337- causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety, 338- causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal security and 427- mischief causing damage.
Sections under the Railways Act include 151-damage to or destruction of certain railway properties and 154 - endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by rash or negligent act or omission.
Meanwhile, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered the Chairman of the Railway Board (CRB) to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of the day, in connection with the Utkal Express derailment in which 23 people have been killed.
"Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board. Have directed CRB to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by end of day," Prabhu tweeted.
Over 100 passengers have been injured and 23 are dead in this unfortunate accident....