Four persons were killed while seven others were injured when a car hit an over-loaded auto-rickshaw at the light point of Sector 70/ Phase 7 dividing road on Sunday morning. The driver of the car was arrested. Most of the victims were from Bihar who came to Mohali in search of work.
Besides the driver, 10 passengers were in the auto rickshaw when the accident had taken place.
The deceased were identified as Jhunu Paswan and Gulab Sheikh, both residents of Champaran district in Bihar and Umesh Yadav and Suleiman, both from Betia district in Bihar. The injured were identified as Mantosh, Satinder Paswan, Chandar Paswan, Raju Paswan, Nandu Paswan, Haider Ali and Bhim Paswan.
Matour Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Rajiv Kumar told Chandigarh Newsline that the victims came to Ambala on Sunday morning and they headed for Mohali.
“I received a call at around 7:23 am following which we reached the spot and took the injured persons to Civil hospital in Phase VI,” said Inspector Rajiv Kumar adding that Jhunu Paswan and Gulan Sheikh were declared bought dead, while Suleiman and Umesh Yadav were referred to PGI where they succumbed to injuries in the evening.
Nandu Paswan is stated to be in a critical condition.
The SHO said that the car was coming from Balongi side while the auto was going towards Matour village.
Police arrested the driver of the Maruti Breeza car, identified as Darshpreet Singh, a resident of Kokri Buttran village in Moga district. He was booked under sections 279 (rash driving), 304-A (death due to negligence), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others ) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint of Harinder Paswan.
Inspector Rajiv Kumar said that Darshpreet Singh was coming from Shimla with three other friends in the car.
“The occupants of the car also sustained minor injuries. We are investigating that whether the car was over speeding or was there any other reason behind the accident,” the SHO added.
He also said that the bodies of the deceased were handed over to their relatives after the post-mortem.
When asked that whether the car or auto-rickshaw jumped the red lights, Inspector Rajiv said that at the time of the accident the traffic lights were not working.
‘We came from home to search work’
Bhim Paswan, who is admitted at Civil hospital in Phase VI, told Chandigarh Newsline that they all came from Bihar on Sunday morning and after reaching Ambala, they boarded a bus for Sector 17 in Chandigarh.
“We took an auto-rickshaw from Sector 17 as we have to reach at Matour village, I had come for the first time in Mohali. when the car hit the auto I became blank with shock, when I gained consciousness, I was in the bed in hospital,” he added.
Raju Paswan said that both the car and the auto rickshaw were overspeeding when the accident had taken place.
“The car dragged the auto up to 50 meters from the accident spot .The auto driver was also driving fast. In fact, one of us asked him to drive slow near Phase VII,” Raju Paswan added.
Raju Paswan also claimed that there were total 11 persons in the auto. He added that the ambulance reached the spot one hour after the accident.
Overloaded auto- rickshaws posing a threat
The overloaded auto-rickshaws are posing a threat to lives in Mohali. The officials of the district transport department said that as many as 13, 200 autos were registered in the district which include the towns like Zirakpur, Derabassi, Kharar and Kurali.
“Yes, there is a problem as the auto-drivers are not trained and they drive insanely. The problem has turned as a menace in Phase VI, Phase XI and Phase VII where maximum autos ply everyday,” said an officer of the district transport department.