A 51-year-old man riding a scooter died after he was hit by a luxury bus, owned by the ruling Badal family, near Dallewal village on the Hoshiarpur-Dasuya road on Wednesday night.
The bus driver did not stop the vehicle after hitting Surinder Singh, an ex-serviceman who worked at as a granthi at Gurdwara Bhikowal, and drove towards Mukerian.
It was only after one of the passengers called up the police control room (PCR) to inform that the bus had crushed someone. An alert was then sent to the Mukerian police which intercepted the bus (PB 03 X 2600). The driver, Arwinder Singh of Jasla village in Patiala, however, was allowed to drop the passengers in Pathankot and then arrested.
Meanwhile, the victim, a resident of Hussainpur Guruka village, was taken to Bhunga hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.
On Thursday, local Congress MLA Sunder Sham Arora and other party workers held a demonstration at the Hoshiarpur civil hospital where the body had been kept in a mortuary. Arora demanded that a criminal case be filed against the owners of the bus.
Hariana station house officer (SHO) Bikramjit Singh said a case under section 304-A (causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal Code had been registered against the bus driver.
Since 304-A is a bailable section the accused was let off on bail on Thursday.
Passersby said they tried to call the ‘108’ ambulance from the nearby Bhunga hospital but no one responded. So they carried the victim in a private vehicle but by the time they reached the hospital, the man had died. They called the victim’s family from the cell phone found on his body.
Mukerian SHO Jaswinder Pal Singh said he let the driver go to avoid inconvenience to passengers but “not before taking appropriate action”.
He, however, failed to clarify on this.
“We accepted his bail as section 304-A is bailable,” he said. When reminded that the case was lodged much later, he said when there is no FIR against someone they cannot be taken in custody.