Two Haryana women were drowned and four of their relatives were feared dead when the car in which they were travelling fell into the Sirhind canal near Machhiwara in Punjab early on Monday morning.
The police fished out the bodies of Rajwinder Kaur (25) of Khatuya village, Shahbad, and Manpreet Kaur (30) of Khurdar village, Ladwa.
Dalbir Singh (27) of Sahapur village, Ambala, who was driving the car, was rescued by passersby. The car was also fished out from the canal. A search operation has been launched to find the missing persons.
Dalbir said he, along with his wife Gurpreet Kaur (26), one-year-old son Kushalvir Singh, sister-in-law Manpreet Kaur, her son Mankeerat (8), Rajwinder Kaur and her one-year-old son Kamalpreet Singh, had gone to Ratnana village in Nawanshahr district to attend a marriage.
They were returning in their Maruti Alto car when Dalbir reportedly lost control of the vehicle near the Machhiwara-Rahon road around 6.30am and it fell into the canal.
However, Manpreet’s husband Jagtar Singh, who was not among the passengers, alleged that Dalbir had driven the car into the canal with the intention of killing his wife Gurpreet over a marital dispute. The Machhiwara police have recorded Jagtar’s statement.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Khanna, Gurpreet Singh and deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Jagwinder Singh Cheema reached the spot. The police pressed divers into service for the search operation.
Of the seven car passengers, three belonged to Sahapur village near National Highway No 1 in Ambala district.
On hearing about the mishap, Dalbir’s father Nirmal Singh rushed to Machhiwara. When the HT team visited the village on Monday afternoon, no one in the family was available to give details of the tragedy. Former sarpanch Dayal Singh said Dalbir, his wife Gurpreet and son Kushalvir had left in their car on February 7 for a marriage in Punjab. He added that on their way back, Dalbir’s relatives Rajwinder, Manpreet and Kamalpreet had joined them.