Rupnagar accident: Agitation called off after police assure action

  • Chitleen K Sethi and Bahadurjeet Singh, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 11, 2015 08:22 IST
Protestors blocking traffic on the national highway near Rupnagar on Friday. (HT Photo)

After the police formed a special investigation team (SIT) and assured action in the case on Friday, villagers called off their 30-hour-long sit-in protest over the death of Swaran Singh (40), a resident of Behrampur village in this district, in a road accident.

The Thursday's accident allegedly involved a luxury bus of Dabwali Transport Company co-owned by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The decision was taken by the all-party sangharsh committee after the government announced the setting up of the SIT to look into the incident "in its entirety".

Residents of five villages of the area on the Rupnagar-Chandigarh road had blocked the main highway on Thursday afternoon after Swaran Singh died while returning home after doing the night shift at a factory at Chanalon focal point near Kurali. He was on his scooter and died on the spot after being hit by a speeding vehicle around 6.30am.

The family, along with other villagers, sat on protest after placing the body on the main road and demanded the registration of an FIR against the driver of the bus. The dharna, where hundreds sat on the spot despite the rain, took political overtones on Friday with several Congress, AAP and left party leaders making a beeline for the dharna site. Addressing the gathering, they demanded the registration of a case against Sukhbir Badal. The police had booked the driver of a car which was involved in the accident.

Assurance by SSP

Rupnagar SSP Varinder Pal Singh visited the dharna site in the evening and informed the protesters that the SIT comprising additional director general of police (crime) Iqbalpreet Singh Sahota, inspector general of police (crime) Nageshwar Rao and Rupnagar range deputy inspector general of police RK Jaiswal had been formed to investigate the case.

He said necessary action would be taken after the completion of investigations, adding that the bus had been impounded and its driver was being questioned.

Following the announcement by the SSP, the protesters lifted the dharna and the traffic movement on the national highway number 205 (Chandigarh-Rupnagar road) was restored. The body has been sent to the civil hospital in Rupnagar for post-mortem.
It is learnt that the mediators have also promised the family a compensation of over Rs 20 lakh and a job to the victim's wife.

"We have been told that the bus driver's name will be added to the FIR and he will be arrested. Also, the compensation amount will be delivered to the family by 11am on Saturday. The administration will also give the rest of the assurances in writing. In case any of these assurances are not met, we would resume the dharna. If the assurances are met, we would cremate the body on Saturday noon," said Manjit Singh of the AAP.

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