The father of a 12-year-old girl, who was allegedly mowed down by a bus owned by a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader on Thursday, has accused the ruling party leaders and the police of threatening the family.
The bus (PB-30-N-8978) belonging to New Deep Transport Company, owned by Gidderbaha Akali leader Hardeep Singh “Dimpy” Dhillon, was on its way to Bathinda when it hit the girl, identified Gurpreet Kaur, near Makhu town, 60 km from Ferozepur.
Talking to HT on Friday, victim’s father Palwinder Singh, a Dalit and a resident of Diaplura village in Tarn Taran district, said: “I have lost everything as Gurpreet was our only daughter. The Akali leaders and the police are forcing us to strike a compromise. They are also threatening me with dire consequences if I don’t sign the papers. I want justice for my daughter.”
“My daughter was crushed to death at 12.15 pm and we kept her body on the road till 4pm. But instead of helping us, the police started threatening us. They also forced us to remove the body from the road. They said as the bus was owned by a ruling party leader, no action would be taken against him,” alleged Palwinder.
“Local Akali leaders are trying to contact me through my relatives. They have called my relatives on telephone a number of times since morning. They have even asked me not talk to the media. Though chief parliamentary secretary Virsa Singh Valtoha visited us, but he did not ensure justice to us. I am a poor man and villagers donated money for performing the last rites of my daughter,” he added.
Although the police have arrested bus driver Pardeep Singh after registering a case against him under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the victim’s family is demanding a case under Section 302 (murder) against him.
Congress general secretary Harminder Singh Gill, who met the victim’s family on Friday, said: “The bus owner and the drive should be booked for murder.”