Twenty-eight-year old Manjit Singh could have escaped death had it not been for a last minute change of plan to accompany his father from Baddowal to Ludhiana on the fateful day that a bus belonging to Dabwali Transport Company, owned by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his family, mowed them down.
Manjit’s father, 60-year-old Hardev, was to go to Ludhiana to deliver tools to their client.
“Hardev had asked his friends to accompany him but none of them turned up due to Rakhi celebrations. So Hardev asked his son to accompany him,” a family member said.
Minutes after Manjit’s sister, Gurpreet Kaur, tied Rakhi and prayed for his long life, the father-son duo left for their destination. Gurpreet Kaur was inconsolable.
Hardev was driving the bike while his son rode pillion, holding the goods meant to be delivered.
Hardev and his two sons Manjit (28) and Jasveer Singh (32) used to run a workshop ‘Guru Nanak Grill Workshop’ of welding and making agriculture tools within the village.
Villagers recall that both Hardev and Manjit were hard working, down to earth and sincere persons.
“Hardev was well known in our village and surrounding villages of Jhanda and Lalton as the man who repairs tubewells. He was very good at it,” recalled another villager.
Amrik Singh, a neighbor said, “The elder son Jasveer worked for around eight years at different workshops the city, earned experience and started this workshop a year ago after procuring the loan.”
Hardev used to manufacture agriculture tools since many years but his sons expanded the business.
The youngest son, Manjit, used to help his father and brother. Now, the whole family’s responsibility has come on to Jasveer’s shoulders.”
An eyewitness to the accident, Kishan Gopal, said the passengers set the bus afire. Eyewitnesses also claimed that the bus driver had fled in another bus belonging to the same company which was passing by.