An auto-rickshaw driver was killed and 10 students were injured when the auto-rickshaw in which they were travelling to school collided with a private bus near the new court complex here on Thursday.
Later, an agitated crowd that included some students, torched the bus owned by the ABTC company and also damaged another bus of the same company. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.
The auto-rickshaw was carrying girl students of the local Shaheed Makhan Singh Senior Secondary School from the nearby Sarna village. Driver Raju of the same village, who died on the spot, was also taking along his son Shubham, 12, a student of the local Arya Senior Secondary School.
The injured were rushed to the civil hospital here, where the condition of the nine girls is said to be stable, but the boy Shubham is battling for life.
As the word spread, a few residents of Sarna village gathered at the site. According to eyewitnesses, the mob, which included a few students from local schools and colleges, soon turned violent and started damaging the bus. Then, the bus was set on fire and was gutted by the time help arrived.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rakesh Kaushal soon summoned DSP (rural) Prabhjot Virk and DSP Manoj Thakur, along with a heavy police force, which chased away the miscreants and saved the other bus from being torched. The police rounded up six boys.
The SSP said they had rounded up the boys who indulged in violence and would register a case against them. He said the police were trying to identify the other culprits and would also book them.
Ankita, a student of Class 11, who suffered a head injury, said the auto-rickshaw was bring driven at normal speed but soon she heard a bang and later found herself in hospital.
Civil hospital senior medical officer Dr Bhupinder Singh claimed that all students, except Shubham, son of the deceased driver, were out of danger. He said the hospital was providing every possible help to the students.
District education officer Pawan Kumar, who reached the spot, said the injured students would get all help from the government. He said he had told the school principal to personally help students and their families.
The injured girls were identified as Shivani, Ankita, Balwinder, Aarti, Neha, Komal, Kajal, another Kajal and Rajni.