Two car-borne men fired shots at the driver of a Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) bus packed with passengers on the Patiala-Rajpura road near Chamarheri village on Thursday evening, leaving him injured, and fled in their vehicle.
The bus was headed to Patiala from Mohali. Police are saying it was likely an incident of road rage and are trying to trace the car, a Maruti Swift, and its occupants.
The incident occurred around 4.45 pm, the police said, when two young men stopped the bus near Chammarheri and started a heated argument with driver Harpreet Singh Sonu for not being allowed to overtake the bus.
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Rashpinder Singh, an eyewitness who took the driver to Rajindra Hospital in his car, told Chandigarh Newsline that first the two men stopped the bus and told the driver to come out. When he stepped out, they started hitting him but stopped after some passengers intervened.
Rashpinder said the men then took out their weapons from the car. According to Rashpinder, one had a pistol while the other had a .32 double barrel gun.
The man with the pistol fired two shots at Harpreet who took a bullet in his thigh. Rashpinder said he drove the driver to the Rajindra Hospital in Patiala where he was being treated.
Patiala (Sadr) police station officials said that the sound of the firing was also recorded on the CCTV camera of a nearby car showroom. The police officials said that eyewitnesses told them that the car’s windowpanes were covered with black sun shades. The men escaped towards Patiala in the car.
SHO of Patiala (Sadr) police station Janpal Singh said that due to Harpreet’s injury, they had not yet recorded his statement, and that they would register a case once this was done. He also said that they were analysing the video footage of the CCTV cameras.
At the time of the incident, there were around 80 passengers in the bus. The SHO said it was fortunate that none of them was injured in the shooting.
Bus conductor Vinod Kumar said that one of the passengers noted the registration number of the car but when the police verified it, it turned out to have been allotted to a scooter.
Police have registered a case under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 341 (wrongful restraint ) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act at Patiala (Sadr) police station.