Even as the district administration here is gearing up to host the inaugural function of Kabaddi World Cup next month, a budding player of the game lost his life due to the negligence of same administration.
Talwinder Singh, 18, a Class 12 student of Government Senior Secondary School, Bhawanigarh, and a member of circle kabaddi team of Sangrur district, was electrocuted after he came in contact with a stay wire (wire supporting a pole) in front of Dashmesh Public Senior Secondary School here on Thursday night. About 50 children from Mansa and Sangrur districts were staying at the school during the school games, which ended on Thursday. The victim's team had secured second position in kabaddi. Fellow players observed two minutes' silence at the prize distribution function on Friday.
The incident occurred at about 9:30pm when children were returning after having dinner. In a bid to cross the railing, Talwinder held the stay wire of the streetlight pole and got electrocuted. He was rushed to the civil hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. The body was handed over to parents after autopsy at the civil hospital.
Director physical education (DPE), Harjinder Singh, who is a teacher at the Bhawanigarh school and was accompanying the school contingent, said Talwinder was a promising kabaddi player.
Narrow escape for another student
Father of a student of the host school has alleged that his son had a narrow escape after suffering an electric shock from the same streetlight pole earlier in the day. He said that after the incident, he duly informed the school principal about the lurking danger in the pole, but the school authorities took no steps to remove the snag.
Sukhbir Singh, a resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, said that his son Navpreet Singh, a student of Class 9 in the same school, suffered serious injuries after he had came in contact with the same pole at about 2pm on Thursday. He said that his son was crossing the road after the school ended when he came in contact with the pole and suffered an electric shock.
"I informed the school principal about danger the electricity pole was posing but nobody took the complaint seriously, it appears. Had the school authorities taken up the matter with the department concerned, a precious life could have been saved. I have also written to deputy commissioner KK Yadav and SSP Ravcharan Singh Brar, explaining the turn of events,"he said.
Principal of the school RS Mann, however, denied having been informed about the daytime mishap.
MC, PSPCL pass the buck
The municipal corporation and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) are trying to pass the buck and are not willing to accept the responsibility for the incident.
MC commissioner Vipul Ujwal, while accepting that the civic body was responsible for the maintenance of streetlights, said, "A sub-divisional officer will be submitting a report on the preliminary circumstances lead to the mishap. We will be in a position to say who was at fault after that only. If our officials are found responsible for the accident, stringent action will be taken against them."
On the other hand, PSPCL executive engineer Hardip Singh Sidhu said corporation all works related to streetlights was the responsibility of the civic body.
Case registered against MC
The police have registered a case of causing death due to negligence against the municipal corporation. Deputy superintendent of police Ranjit Singh said that a case under section 304-A has been registered. "However, we have not mentioned any name in the FIR and it will be included later after finding out the official(s) responsible for the negligence,"he said.