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Tezgam incident: IHC summons Railways, Interior Ministry top officials

Tezgam incident: IHC summons Railways, Interior Ministry top officials
February 17, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday summoned the Interior Secretary, Secretary Railways and others to appear in person before the court in the next hearing of the Tezgam fire incident. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard a petition filed by Riaz Hanif Rahi, the president of Jurist Foundation, seeking an independent inquiry into Tezgam train fire incident. During the hearing, the court expressed displeasure over the proceedings and response from the concerned ministries over the matter. “Does [the court] needs to summon the Prime Minister now?” the judge asked angrily, adding that people were burnt to death while the two ministries were unaware of telling anything. “Do we need to tell the Prime Minister that the two ministries aren’t working [properly]?” he questioned. “Both ministries are asleep as they think that nobody had died in the incident […] if you won’t work, then we will make you work through [the court’s] orders.” The court sought final report of the incident. The report has been submitted in the Senate, railways representative said. “Don’t tell the story of the Senate and National Assembly inform the court about your performance,” the bench retorted. “What you deem the court, post office,” Justice Kayani said. “No one knew the matter while several lives lost in the incident,” the court blasted officials of the railways and interior ministries. The bench adjourned further hearing of the case till February 24. Earlier, an inquiry into the Tezgam train fire incident has revealed that the incident occurred due to short-circuit in the electric wiring of the train, rejecting earlier reports of a cylinder blast. According to the report, the fire was caused by short-circuit in the wiring of an electric kettle in the train’s illegal kitchen in bogie number 11 and 12, which later spread to the entire bogies due to cylinder. The report held responsible dining car manager and waiters for making illegal kitchen in bogie no 11 and 12. Due to negligence, the deputy divisional superintendent, commercial officer, station house officer of the railway police, head constable, constable and reservation staff also held responsible. “There was no electricity in the bogie 12 and an illegal connection was given to it from adjoining bogie-11,” it said adding that as soon as the short-circuit occurred, the entire bogie 12 was filled with smoke making it difficult for the commuters to understand the situation. The people alleged in the report were already removed from their posts. The secretary Railways has approved the inquiry report. Earlier, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed said that Tezgam tragedy occurred due to cylinder and stove blast.
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