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Bus overload kills 2 students in Jalandhar
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Agitating students of CT group of educational institutions hurl stones at the building in Shahpur village near Jalandhar on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, February 19
Two students of CT group of educational institutions were crushed to death while over 35 sustained injuries, six of them serious, when a private bus in which they were travelling turned turtle this morning. The incident took place at a short distance from the institute located at Shahpur village, about 15 km from here.

Eyewitnesses said the bus (PB-07N-3564) owned by Sukhmani travellers was overloaded with passengers and the driver lost control while negotiating a curve. There were over 100 passengers on board, a majority of them students, when the tragedy struck.

The bus driver reportedly fled from the scene after the incident. As first-aid to accident victims was delayed, students turned violent and smashed the windowpanes of the institute. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has announced a financial relief of Rs 1 lakh, to the next of kin of the deceased, each, besides Rs 1 lakh for the treatment of the injured.

Bharat Bhushan, a student of B Tech electronics and communication, II semester, was sandwiched between the bus and the road while the left side of Prabhjot Singh, student of D. Pharmacy from Buttar village near Bhogpur, was badly crushed. Prabhjot later succumbed to injuries at the SGL hospital.

Critically injured Money of Hoshiarpur recieved head injuries was operated upon at the local civil hospital and is struggling for life. Shashi Kant, hailing from Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh was rushed to Oxford hospital as he was severely injured. The injured were rushed to the nearby private hospitals by their college mates in their personal vehicles, as the college authorities allegedly did not extend any immediate help.

After receiving information, scores of students rushed outside the main gate and swung into rescue operation. They broke open the windowpanes of the bus and pulled the stranded ones out.

Over 20 injured were rushed to Satnam Hospital, seven to the local civil hospital, some were also taken to Satyam Hospital. Many of the injured were discharged after first aid from different hospitals.

Irate, after the institute management restricted the students from going out from the institute premises for extending help to the injured students, the students boycotted classes and smashed the windowpanes of different blocks. The agitating students hurled stones, bricks at the windowpanes of different blocks besides ransacking offices. The mob also smashed the computer laboratories besides cars of teaching staff and institute buses.

Students alleged that other managerial staff, including SPS Mutiana, Col. SS Cheema (retired), directors of the institutions, not only refused to send institute vehicles for rushing the injured to hospitals but even directed the gateman to lock the gate.

The police personnel were even directed to cane charge the agitating students, claimed a student.

Charanjit Singh Channi, chairman of the group, who came to the institute only after ensuring the police presence at the spot, said it was not their fault as the bus belonged to a private company. He claimed that certain anti-social elements barged inside the institute premises and instigated students to agitate.

He said, “Our institution is not at fault for the accident of a private bus. The students avoid paying for the institute buses and generally prefer private buses.”

Denying allegations, Mutiana and Cheema, however, said they rushed to the spot soon after receiving the news. The students were kept inside the institute premises as it would have been hindered the rescue operation, the added. A case of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the unidentified driver of the bus on the complaint of Harvinder Singh, a student at Lambra police station.

Meanwhile, students alleged that the sheer dictatorial and greedy attitude of the CT group authorities caused the mishap. The bus was being driven at break-neck speed to reach the gate of institute before 9 am because any student entering the institute after 9 am has to pay a heavy fine.



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