A private bus belonging to Dabwali Transport Company, Bathinda, owned by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his family, mowed down a 60-year-old man and his 28-year-old son on Ludhiana-Ferozepur road near Baddowal village here on Thursday.
An irate crowd set the bus afire even as the driver fled the spot, while, in Jalandhar, Sukhbir brushed off a query about the mishap, telling journalists: “Koi kamm di gal karo , yaar (Say something worthwhile).”
The mishap occurred at about 2pm. Hardev Singh of Baddowal and his son Manjit Singh were going to Ludhiana on a motorcycle when a speeding bus hit their two-wheeler. DSP Ajayraj Singh said that the bike was on the wrong side of the road when the bus hit it.
An eyewitness, Joginder Singh, said after hitting the motorcycle, the bus dragged the victims for about 50 metres. The driver fled the spot, leaving the bus behind.
The father-son duo was rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), where they succumbed to their injuries.
Passersby gathered at the spot and the angry crowd set the bus afire. Fire tenders from army area in Baddowal reached the spot and took half an hour to douse the flames. The traffic on the road remained disrupted for over an hour.
Police reached the spot and resumed the traffic after much struggle. Later, as the news of victims’ death spread, angry people blocked the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road again.
Dakha deputy superintendent of police Ajayraj Singh said the victims’ motorcycle was on the wrong side when hit by the bus. He said an FIR has been registered against the unidentified bus driver. “We are trying to identify him,” he said.
Senior superintendent of police (Ludhiana rural) Opinder Singh Ghuman said the bus belonged to Dabwali Transport Company, Bathinda.
Congress, AAP join protesters
Later in the evening, Congress member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka joined the protesters who were blocking the road. They demanded that a case be registered against the owners of bus-operator company for employing “untrained drivers”. They also demanded compensation for the bereaved family. They said a committee of Baddowal residents would be formed to decide the further course of action.
Within hours, Rakhi celebrations turn into tragedy
Ludhiana: Within a couple of hours, the Rakhi celebrations turned into mourning. The world of a sister came down crashing as the news of death of her brother and father reached the village. Gurpreet Kaur, who stays on Dhandran Road with her husband, had visited her parental home to tie rakhi to her two brothers before Manit and Hardev left on a motorcycle for Ludhiana. Only a couple of hours earlier she had prayed for the long life of her brothers.
When this correspondent visited the house of the victims, the village was in mourning. Villagers were seen consoling Manjit’s mother Baljeet Kaur that all will be well and her ‘injured’ husband and son ‘will be fine’.
Hardev and his two sons Manjit and Jasveer Singh (32) ran a welding workshop in the village. (By Amarpal Singh)