Politics is a dirty game, it is said. Nobody will believe in this epithet more than families of three boys who succumbed to their injuries at a hospital here on Wednesday, a day after being injured in the bomb blast at Maur in Bathinda district.
The boys aged 10, 13 and 14 breathed their last at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) on Wednesday, taking the toll to six. Three people had died in the blast on Tuesday. They have been identified as 10-year-old Ripandeep Singh, 13-year-old Saurabh Singla and 14-year-old Japsimran, all of whom had suffered severe burns. The only sons of their parents, the three victims were in the narrow lane — MC Wali Gali — near their houses at the time of the blast.
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the hospital here as the bodies were handed over to the families. Saurabh’s father runs a ‘kiryana’ store in the area, Ripandeep’s father runs an auto spare parts shop and Japsimran is the son of a former soldier who was killed in an accidental firing years ago.
“Japsimran was watching the rally from a distance when the blast took off. On fire, he ran towards his house and we poured water and clothes over him. We took him to a hospital in Ludhiana, where he died,” said his aunt Balpreet Kaur. “We have no political affiliations but this election just took away our kid,” she said .
The mother of Ripandeep has not been informed about her son’s death. “Ripandeep was the only son, who was born after a gap of 10 years. His father served in the army and had had died years ago in an accidental firing,” said his uncle Kala Singh.
“The children were chatting in the lane when we heard an explosion. We rushed outside and perceived it to be a LPG cylinder blast. But soon we realised it was something more grave. There were balls of fire and debris of damaged vehicles all around. Before we could make out what had happened, my 11- year- old son Ankush, bruised and clothes on fire, came rushing and collapsed,” said Jaan Chand, who works at a school in Maur. Ankush, a Class 8 student, is battling for life in the ICU of DMCH here with 60% burns . Two other injured — Jaskiran and Amrik Singh, both 26 — are also being treated in the burns ICU of the same hospital.
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Farm labourer Jaskiran was passing by the area when the blast took place. He had lost his parents some time ago in an accident and is being looked after by his relatives. “With 70% burns, Jaskiran’s head and eyes have severe injuries,” said a relative. Amrik runs an auto spare outlet shop near the blast site and also reside on the first floor of the shop. “He was caught in the life-threatening range of the bomb,” said Amrik’s relative Gagandeep.
Daughter’s marriage on Feb 5, teacher battles for life
Another injured, Darshan Singh, a teacher at Government High school in Maur, who is admitted to a hospital in Bathinda, suffers more than 50% burns. “His daughter is scheduled to get married on February 5. He was so excited and busy in preparations, but destiny had something else in store,” said one of his relatives.