Video: Truck out of control in Ram Navami procession, 3 mowed down in Jalandhar
The procession of tableaux was part of an annual Ram Navami ritual held by local organisations led by a corporate group.punjab Updated: Apr 05, 2017 14:57 IST
Two women and a man were killed and 17 people suffered injuries after an open truck-trailer with a tableau (or jhanki) that was part of a religious procession for Ram Navami went out of control in Jalandhar around 6 pm on Tuesday. Police said the designated driver had handed the wheel to a flower decorator, who accidentally pressed the accelerator and was arrested later. Both had been drinking, police said.
Watch the video below
The procession of tableaux had started at 2 pm with around 500 participants, as an annual Ram Navami ritual held by local organisations led by a corporate group. Witnesses said the truck was moving slow from Company Bagh to Jyoti Chowk, but it sped up and ran through barricades near the Red Cross market. It crushed bicycles, motorcycles and carts too before coming to a halt after about 300 metres.
Deceased have been identified as Simi Rajput (57) of Gobind Nagar, Basti Guzan, Kusum (42) of Sansarpur and Laxmi Prasad (40) of Hamira, Kapurthala; all of whom were participants in the ritual. Four of the injured were in a critical state and referred to hospitals with more facilities in the city and in Amritsar.
“I was just ahead of the truck when it went out of control,” said one of the injured, Puran of Ram Nagar, “A side of the truck hit me after which I fell unconscious.”
Heartrending scenes were witnessed at the civil hospital where people struggled to find their relatives injured in the mishap. There was chaos, amid which the hospital authorities called in an additional team of doctors and nursing staff.
Deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma, police commissioner PK Sinha, other district officials, MLAs Sushil Rinku, Avtar Bawa Henry and others rushed to the hospital. Health minister Brahm Mohindra ordered free treatment for all the injured.
What probe reveals
Gurmeet Singh of Dhandari Kalan in Ludhiana was the designated driver of the truck while his friend, Amit Kumar of local Gandhi Camp, who is a flower decorator, was driving when the mishap occurred.
Police said Singh was driving initially but handed the wheel to Kumar and sat on the passenger seat when the procession reached the Red Cross market. Singh managed to flee after the crash, while Amit was apprehended by the people. “Kumar has no driving licence, and both were drinking initially in the procession,” assistant commissioner of police (ACP), central, Manpreet Dhillon said.
A case under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against them at the division-4 police station. The same truck was part of a religious procession held by another corporate group on Monday.