Protesters bring Patiala to halt over farmer’s death

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A day after a car allegedly driven by Excise and Taxation Inspector Pritpal Singh mowed down a farmer, one of the injured children, identified as two-year-old Ansh, succumbed at PGI, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.

Enraged over the incident, farmers and locals held a dharna, bringing the Chief Minister’s home town to a standstill. Farmer Inderjeet Singh, 65, was killed in the accident. A pregnant woman, Renu, and her brother Rahul suffered major injuries. The woman’s two minor children, one of whom died today, were grievously injured along with two employees of Thapar institute.

Alleging inaction on part of the police, farmers and residents on Tuesday morning blocked the city roads. They alleged the excise official was in an inebriated state, a charge which the police said could not be verified as the medical reports of the accused were awaited. Farmers present at the site said the police personnel remained mute spectators and even helped the excise official. They said crucial time was wasted following the accident that happened just 100 metres away from the Civil Lines police station.

“CCTV cameras are not working at the crucial point. Also, the police did not take the accused to the nearest government hospital and allowed him to get treated at a private hospital,” they alleged.

They demanded the deceased farmer be declared a ‘shaheed’ and his family be compensated. They said the district administration should pay for the treatment of those injured and action should be initiated against the cops in question.

The police said the Excise and Taxation Officer had been booked under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt to any person negligently), 338 (causes grievous hurt), 427 (mischief), 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.

“He has been shifted to Government Rajindra hospital today. He is in police custody and will be arrested after doctors declare him fit,” said DSP Yogesh Sharma. 

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