A day after the April 29 Moga bus incident, Balwinder Singh (26) lost his left leg due to the negligence of the driver of a private bus owned by Jujhar Travels, it has now come to light.
An FIR was registered on May 1 against bus driver Jaswinder Singh, who also tested positive for alcohol, but cops of the police station concerned are yet to visit Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here to record the injured Balwinder’s statement.
The Baghapurana resident had boarded the bus (PB-10-EH-3713) on the Moga bypass around 8.15 pm on April 30. As the bus was packed to capacity, he was standing near the door. As the vehicle neared the Kotkapura bypass, the driver took a sharp turn, ramming it into the footpath. Jolted by the impact, Balwinder fell from the open door.
Passengers raised the alarm and asked the driver to apply the brakes, but the latter, allegedly under the influence of liquor, failed to take prompt action. A corner of the bus slashed his left leg and it got crushed under the rear tyre.
Already fed up with his reckless driving, the passengers caught hold of Jaswinder and the helper and thrashed them before handing them over to the cops. However, the conductor managed to flee.
Thereafter, the driver and the helper were taken to the Moga city police station, where a case was registered against Jaswinder.
Balwinder’s elder brother, who was following the bus on a motorbike, rushed him to the Moga civil hospital, where doctors referred him to DMCH. Despite trying hard, the doctors failed to save his leg and had to amputate the crushed part beneath the knee.
Jujhar Travels is owned by Fastway Cables managing director Gurdip Singh Jujhar, who was recently in the news after a cable operator committed suicide in Amritsar, alleging harassment by Fastway officials. Jujhar is said to have close ties with the Badal family.
Balwinder is an employee at a shoe showroom in Moga, drawing a meagre salary of Rs 7,500 per month. He has a five-year-old son and his wife is pregnant.
Speaking to HT, Balwinder said, “I am now disabled. I don’t know how I am going to earn a livelihood. I have already been operated twice. My family does not have the money to bear my medical expenses.” He added that the driver was drunk and was driving recklessly.
Balwinder’s elder brother Jaswinder Singh said they had borrowed money for his treatment as the expenses had already gone up to Rs 1 lakh.
“Gurdip Singh Jujhar met us in the hospital and said someone from his office would contact us soon. After that, someone from Jujhar Travels called up and asked us to take compensation up to Rs 40,000 or strike a compromise and get a handsome insurance amount,” said Jaswinder.
However, no one from Jujhar Travels has talked about ensuring action against the guilty driver and conductor, Jaswinder added.
Despite repeated attempts, Jujhar was not available for comment.