Two men were killed on Tuesday in separate road mishaps involving buses of transport companies owned by Akali leaders.
Roshan Lal, 55, a resident of Sarawan Bodla village in Muktsar district, was killed after his horse cart was hit by a bus (PB 03 AJ 7518) of Dabwali transport company, which is co-owned by the ruling Badals.
The mishap took place around 6.30am near Kabarwala village in Muktsar district. The man was first taken to the Goniana hospital and then referred to the Bathinda civil hospital, where he succumbed to injuries. Angry family members and village residents staged a protest at the Malout hospital, where the body was kept for a post-mortem. Activists of the Bahujan Samaj Party also joined the protest.
Muktsar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal said bus driver Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Kot Bhaika village, had been arrested and booked under Section 304 A (causing death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In the second mishap, cyclist Ram Het, 33, was killed when he was hit by a bus (PB 30 K 7478) of New Deep transport company on the Bathinda-Goniana road on Tuesday evening. The transport firm is owned by Hardeep Singh ‘Dimpy’ Dhillon, Akali leader and party’s halqa in-charge from Gidderbaha. A mob smashed window panes of the bus, even as the driver fled from the spot.
The mishap took place around 5pm near gate number 1 of the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) unit, where the victim worked as a gardener. Police booked bus driver Kashmir Singh, a resident of Shergarh village in Bathinda district, under Section 304-A of the IPC.
Muktsar deputy commissioner (DC) Sumit Jarangal said the driver had been arrested, as demanded by the protesters, adding that the administration would provide ex gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh to the aggrieved family as per the state government policy.
Bathinda DC Basant Garg said they had sent an officer to meet the bereaved family and financial help would be provided from the chief minister’s relief fund.
Terming the bus mishap as unfortunate, Dimpy Dhillon said the victim (Ram Het) had crossed the road but suddenly turned back. “The bus driver tried his best to save the cyclist, but in vain,” said Dhillon. He claimed that in all recent mishaps involving buses of his company, drivers were not at fault. The Akali leader said he was being targeted due to political reasons, adding that buses of other transport companies as well as the state transport were also involved in accidents.
In ‘Deep’ trouble
December 11, 2015: Girl crushed to death under New Deep bus at Channu village in Muktsar district
December 17: Girl killed after being hit by a bus of the same company in Makhu town of Ferozepur district
February 5, 2016: Man crushed to death under New Deep bus at Kauni village in Muktsar district