Seventeen-year-old Lovepreet’s life came crashing down when his father died, a guard tasked with checking illegal mining, was found dead in a pool of blood on March 19 after a reported road accident.
But the police have failed to make any headway despite suspicions of foul play. Till date, those allegedly responsible for Ram Nath’s death are reported as absconding, as an FIR seeking a probe into the accident at Nurpur Bedi in Rupnagar district has led nowhere.
Lovepreet’s name was noted down for “a job on compassionate ground” when he would turn 18, said Dharampal Bhagat, the district general manager for the mining wing of the state industries department.
But the family back home in Bhucho Mandi near Bathinda still awaits basic measures that include Nath’s gratuity and pension.
Bhagat said there was no message from the police so far. Nath’s motorbike, which he was purportedly riding before he was found dead near illegal quarries of sand and gravel, is still parked at the Nurpur Bedi police station.
Though the family was too scared to talk to the media, fearing loss of compensation and the job on compassionate grounds, officials at the mining wing of the industries department here had no clue of the case either.
This contradicted Bhagat’s assertions that he had already made a case for a job for the family.
Nath’s maternal uncle and the two brothers-in-law, when contacted on phone, said they had been assured of “whatever the department could do for the family”. No written assurance has come. The family hesitated to pass on the victim’s photograph.
Nath was the only son of a 76-year-old cancer patient mother, who is struggling for life. He also leaves behind his son, a 21-year-old daughter who has a commerce degree, and his wife, who is in her mid-40s and doing a teaching job for Rs. 4,000 per month at a neighbourhood school.