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Ghaziabad: Injured passengers determined to go to Haridwar for immersing ashes of their kin

The Rajasthan roadways bus from Jalore is mostly used by natives for carrying the ashes of their deceased kin to Haridwar. The same bus ferries passengers back home, covering a total distance of 1,900km

noida Updated: Feb 19, 2018 17:09 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad news,Haridwar news,Jalore news
Policemen assess damage to the Rajasthan roadways bus from Jalore that met with an accident on the former NH-58 in Ghaziabad, on Sunday morning. There were 48 passengers, of whom 40 were injured; the bud driver died on the spot. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Majority passengers who were travelling in the Rajasthan roadways bus which met with an accident early on Sunday morning were carrying ashes of their deceased kin and were heading to Haridwar for their immersion in river Ganga.

The driver of the bus, which started its journey from Jalore in Rajasthan and was headed to Haridwar, died and 40 of the 48 passengers were injured, two among them seriously. The passengers also included a three-year-old boy, Happu, but he was miraculously saved and did not suffer any injuries.

Officials of the Rajasthan roadways said most of the passengers, despite being injured, wanted to continue their onward journey to Haridwar to immerse the ashes of their loved ones. One-way distance from Jalore to Haridwar is nearly 950km.

“We have arranged for another bus to Haridwar as most of the passengers are willing to complete the work they had started their journey for (immersion of ashes). Some, who are severely injured, will stay back at the hospital or will be sent back home, if they so wish,” Anil Kaushik, manager administration, Rajasthan roadways (Delhi depot), said.

Jabar Singh, a passenger who suffered injuries to his head and face and is admitted at the Sanjay Nagar government hospital, said he will go to Haridwar in the special bus that has been arranged by the Rajasthan roadways to immerse his daughters ashes in river Ganga.

“My 21-year-old daughter died after prolonged illness on Mahashivrati. I am taking her ashes alone for immersion at Haridwar. Rather than returning home, I will continue my journey further and perform the last rituals,” he said.

“I was sitting three rows back from the driver’s cabin and suffered severe bleeding after injuries to my head and face. I could not get up as many passengers were over me after the collision. I rang up my wife back home and told her that the bus has developed some technical snag and I will return late. She suffers from hypertension; I can’t tell her about the accident just yet,” he added.

“The bus (from Jalore to Haridwar) is specifically used by passengers for immersion of ashes or for performing Puja on the banks of river Ganga in Haridwar. The bus starts 8.45am from Jalore and takes 24 hours to reach Haridwar. During the day, people offer prayers and the bus begin journey to Jalore during the night,” said the bus conductor, Mahipal who has also not told his family about the accident.

“My father is severely ill and admitted in a hospital. This is the first accident I have seen since I joined,” the 27-year-old said.

Murari Lal, his wife and mother, who are from Jaipur, were carrying his father’s ashes. All of them have suffered injuries—his mother and wife suffered facial and leg injuries—but are adamant about carrying on.

“We were taking his ashes to Haridwar, but the accident disrupted our journey. Three of us are injured but we will proceed to Haridwar and perform the last rites there. We are waiting for another bus to arrive and we will move to Haridwar rather than going back home,” Murari Lal said.

The doctors at Sanjay Nagar hospital said that two passengers, who suffered severe head injuries, were referred to GTB Hospital in Delhi for further treatment.

Most of the passengers are residents of Jodhpur, Jaipur, Jalore, Ajmer and Sikar cities of Rajasthan. The passengers said that the bus from Jalore is mostly used by natives for carrying the ashes of their deceased kin to Haridwar. The same bus ferries passengers back home from Haridwar.

Badu Ram, a homeguard from Tonk city who was travelling with his three family members, none of whom he has seen since the accident, has suffered severe injuries to his head and face. But, he is more worried about the immersion of his mother’s ashes.

“I had come with my brother, his wife and my wife; they are all in some other hospital. I am worried about the ashes of my deceased mother as I have not been able to find them. The packet was in my luggage,” he said.

The doctors said that his family members were admitted to MMG hospital and were getting the treatment.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 16:57 IST