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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Waiting for school van, six-year-old run over by speeding jeep in Ludhiana

Eyewitnesses say vehicle was overloaded and coming from wrong side when the accident took place near Gokul Road

cities Updated: Dec 04, 2019 22:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Locals and family members of the victim, Harshit Kaushal where the pick-up jeep crushed him to death near Gokul Road in old city area on Wednesday. After the incident, the driver of the jeep fled on foot, following which the locals vandalised the vehicle.
Locals and family members of the victim, Harshit Kaushal where the pick-up jeep crushed him to death near Gokul Road in old city area on Wednesday. After the incident, the driver of the jeep fled on foot, following which the locals vandalised the vehicle.(Harsimar Pal Singh/)
         

A speeding pick-up jeep crushed a six-year-old boy, Harshit Kaushal, to death near Gokul Road in the old city area of Ludhiana on Wednesday morning. Police said the boy’s aunt, Kirti, 16, who had accompanied him to the school van pickup point, was also injured in the accident. The driver of the Mahindra pick-up jeep fled on foot, leaving the vehicle behind.

Angry residents of the area vandalised the vehicle and also tried to set it ablaze before police intervened and impounded it. The Division Number 3 police have registered a case against the accused jeep driver and launched a manhunt for his arrest.

The victim, a resident of Gulchaman Gali, was a Class 1 student of DAV Public School on Pakhowal Road. He was the grandson of a kite trader, known in the business as Laddu Patangawala.

Incident occurred around 7.45 AM. As the street to the house of the victim is too narrow for the school van his family members used to drop him at School van pickup point at Gokul road. On Wednesday, his aunt (father’s sister) Kirti came to drop him.

According to Kirti, she had parked her scooter by the road to wait for the van when the jeep coming from the wrong side hit both of them. While she fell on the road, the vehicle dragged Harshit for at least 50 metres before crushing him to death. The eye-witnesses said the jeep was overloaded and the driver was trying to overtake a vehicle when he hit the children.

Locals had rushed the boy to the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), but the doctors declared him brought dead.

Harshit Kaushal
Harshit Kaushal ( FILE PHOTO )

Assistant commissioner of police Waryam Singh said, “A case under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the accused at the Division Number 3 police station. Police have launched a manhunt for his arrest.”

‘Used to play doc all the time, knew many shlokas by heart’

Heart rending scenes were witnessed at the house of six-year-old Harshit Kaushal who was crushed to death by a pick-up jeep in the old city area on Wednesday. Inconsolable, Harshit’s grandmother, Meena Kaushal, repeatedly requested the police for not conducting a postmortem on the body of Harshit, saying that “no more cuts be inflicted on her grandchild.”

Meena, it is learnt, had taught Harshit shlokas and prayers, which the boy used to recite fluently. “He used to bow before your (God’s) temple all the time. Why did you (God) take him away?” she cried.

Harshit’s mother had lost her consciousness as she came to know about his death. Being consoled by a large number of locals, his father Sunny Kaushal said, “Fate has played a cruel joke with us. Harshit’s death has shattered us.”

Brother to a two-and-a-half years old sister, Harshit had a room full of toys. The family said the boy was studious and used to take parts in extra- curricular activities. The family said they had bought him a lab coat and a toy stethoscope for a fancy dress competition, which he used to wear even at home to pretend to be doctor.