Updated: July 23, 2021 11:20:13 pm
Three persons were killed and 37 injured, nine of them seriously, when a mini-bus ferrying Congress workers to attend Navjot Singh Sidhu’s installation as the party chief in Chandigarh met with an accident on Lohara road in Moga on Friday. The mini-bus, which was on way from village Malsian in Ferozepur, collided with a Punjab Roadways bus.
Police identified the deceased as driver of the mini bus Gurdev Singh (40) from Guddu Wala village and Virsa Singh (70) and Vicky (40), both Congress workers from Malsian. The injured were referred to hospitals in Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Patiala, among other places.
Inspector Jaswant Singh, SHO of Kot Ise Khan police station, said an FIR was registered against the mini-bus’s driver on the statement of conductor of Punjab Roadways bus under Sections 304-A (causing death due to negligence), 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt to any person by doing any act rashly or negligently), 338 (causing grievous hurt to any person by doing any act rashly) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of the IPC.
Most of the passengers traveling in the mini-bus were from Malsian and were supporters of local Congress MLA, Kulbir Singh Zira.
Amarpreet Kaur, civil surgeon, Moga, said that 14 injured people were admitted at Moga Civil Hospital, while nine had to be referred to other hospitals. “Some of them had received only minor injuries and were discharged after first aid,” she said.
Kulbir Singh said that at least 17 of the injured people were from Malsian and Shahzada Sant Singh villages of Ferozepur.
In a tweet, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, “Saddened to learn of the bus accident in Moga district in which 3 Congress workers have reportedly died and many persons are injured… Have directed DC Moga to immediately provide full medical treatment to all injured and send a report to the Government. .. Have directed district administration of Moga to immediately provide ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to families of deceased and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured in today’s bus accident. Free treatment will be provided to all others who have sustained minor injuries.”
Later in the evening, Sidhu reached Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) Ludhiana where he met one of the injured
Sidhu, along with ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkarai, also visited Moga civil hospital and a private hospital and met some of the injured persons. Later, he, along with the two ministers, visited the families of the deceased and assured them of all possible help.
Earlier, speaking to the media at DMCH, Sidhu said, “This incident has pained me greatly. Our grassroots workers are the backbone of the party. The government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for families of deceased and Rs 50,000 for those undergoing treatment.”
In Chandigarh, during the installation ceremony of Sidhu, the Punjab Congress observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to those killed in the accident.
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