A mob tied a local police officer to an electricity pole on Sunday and ripped his uniform in public thrashing for helping a killer rash driver flee.
Around 11.30am on the Dera Baba Nanak road, head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on the wrong side had killed motorcyclist Sarabjot Singh of Gokhuwal. Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Nirjit Singh was on the spot, later, with a team when the victim’s fellow villagers caught hold of him. It took half an hour before Batala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Daljinder Singh Dhillon and his squad could rescue the cop.
Witnesses said tractor-trailer driver Gurdev Ram had failed to see the motorcyclist at a bend. Sarbjot was crushed under the rear tyres of the heavier vehicle. Bystanders caught Gurdev and turned him over to the ASI, who instead of taking him to the police station, let him escape allegedly. The agitated villagers now overpowered the cop and even the pleas of his colleagues were lost on them.
When the SSP came over, the assault stopped but the villagers still wouldn’t hand over the cop to him. It took a long argument before Dhillon could take his officer to the local civil hospital. The SSP said an inquiry had been marked. “If the ASI is found guilty, fine, but if not, we’ll take action against the villagers,” he said. After autopsy, accident victim Sarbjot Singh was cremated amid tight security.