M A I N   N E W S

Sandeep hurt as pistol goes off accidentally in Shatabdi
Tribune News Service & PTI

Kurukshetra/Chandigarh, August 22
World Cup-bound hockey star Sandeep Singh sustained a bullet injury in his right hip today when the pistol of an ASI of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) went off accidentally while he was travelling by Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express to join the Indian team for next month’s World Cup in Germany. The incident occurred near Kurukshetra.

GRP Inspector General of Police R.K. Vaccher told the TNS over telephone that ASI Mohar Singh of the RPF was sitting near Sandeep in the Delhi-bound train when his pistol went off accidentally and the bullet hit the player on the hip. Sandeep was travelling with another player Rajpal Singh.

Sandeep, who was in the coach number C-8, was admitted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Government Hospital. Sandeep’s mother reached the hospital from her Shahbad Markanda residence, about 20 km from here. Later, Sandeep was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

Sandeep was operated upon at the PGI by a team of doctors, comprising Prof J.D. Wig and Dr M.S. Dhillon, this afternoon. Doctors at the PGI deliberated for an hour whether to go in for an operation or not as the bullet was struck in between the backbone and the upper abdomen. The doctors later took the decision to go ahead with an operation and extracted the bullet. The operation took almost three hours. The doctors found the bullet lodged in the pelvis.

After the operation, he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit and was monitored by a team of doctors. The doctors said Sandeep’s condition was critical but stable. It will take some days for him to recover.

Accompanied by his mother Daljit Kaur, brother Bikramjit Singh and Rajpal Singh, critically injured Sandeep was brought to the PGI in an ambulance from the Civil Hospital, Kurukshetra.

Rajpal Singh, who was accompanying Sandeep, told to The Tribune that while travelling he suddenly heard a cracking sound and Sandeep cried in pain and collapsed on the floor of the compartment. “I was shocked when I spotted Sandeep bleeding profusely from the right side of his waist adjacent to the spinal cord. Then a cop from the Reserve Protection Force (RPF) reached their seat and felt sorry as his service pistol has accidentally went off,” he recalled.

While addressing mediapersons, Dr M.S. Dhillon said X-ray and CT Scan were conducted to identify the exact location of the bullet. He claimed that the bullet had pierced the back adjacent to the spinal cord, causing minor injuries.

Mr A.K. Gupta, Additional Divisional Manager, Railways, Ambala, said Sandeep was sitting two seats ahead of the seat occupied by Mohar Singh. The bullet pierced through two chairs before hitting Sandeep. He said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident.

A senior railway official said though Sandeep was booked in another coach of the train, but he joined his team-mate Rajpal Singh on learning that he was also travelling in the adjacent coach. “Sandeep was booked to travel in the C-7 coach, but he joined Rajpal in C-8 coach. As the seat next to Rajpal was empty, both sat on seats number 39/40 of the C-8 bogie,” he said.

“One can say it was his ill-fate that he changed his coach,” Divisional Commercial Manager, Northern Railways, Ambala, M.S. Meena said.

The erring ASI was later arrested from platform no 2 at Kurukshetra this afternoon and a case has been registered. Sources said the ASI was due to retire by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Government today handed over financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to the parents Sandeep to meet the immediate medical needs.

The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, went to the PGI to inquire about the condition of the hockey player. Mr Hooda met his family members and assured his mother of all help of the state government.




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