Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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WALL COLLAPSE DEATHS

Villagers block road for three hours

Seek arrest of mill owners without delay; kin of the deceased given cheques for Rs 1 lakh each by Khamano SDM21 Aug 2018 | 1:24 AM

KHAMANO: A number of residents of Lakhanpur and Farour villages, along with the families of those killed in the wall collapse at a rice mill site on Sunday, blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road for about three and a half hours.

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Gurminder Singh Grewal

Our Correspondent

Khamano, August 20

A number of residents of Lakhanpur and Farour villages, along with the families of those killed in the wall collapse at a rice mill site on Sunday, blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road for about three and a half hours. They were demanding the arrest of persons responsible for the incident.

The villagers raised slogans against the owners of the mill under construction and demanded their arrest without any delay. They refused post-mortem of the bodies.

Rs1-lakh cheques given to kin

The protest was called off around 4.30 pm after the affected families were given cheques for Rs 1 lakh each by SDM Khamano Paramjit Singh, as announced by CM Amarinder Singh. Police officials, including SP (I) Fatehgarh Sahib Harpal Singh, assured the protesters of stern action against the owners.

Six labourers were killed when a wall collapsed at rice mill under construction at Lakhanpur village near here on Sunday. Five labourers died on the spot while the sixth one succumbed to injuries at the GMCH-32, Chandigarh. Four injured are still fighting for life at the Hospital. According to information, a total of 16 labourers were engaged in plastering of the wall.

Contractor arrested

First, a number of persons of the area, led by district BKU president Kashmira Singh Jatana, blocked traffic on GT Road near the Tehsil complex for about 40 minutes. They were told by the police officials that the contractor involved in the construction of the rice mill had been arrested and the police parties were conducting raids to nab the mill owners. The protesters ended their blockade, but after some time, the protesters again gathered near Lakhanpur village and blocked traffic there.

Leaders seek suitable compensation

The police officials tried to persuade the protesters to allow them to get post-mortem of the bodies done. But, they demanded Rs 20 lakh each for the families of the deceased and financial help for the injured. Jaswinder Singh Shinda and Bharpoor Singh, who were leading the protesters, said the wife of deceased Manjit Singh was pregnant and the wife of another deceased Jagjit Singh had two minor children to raise. Both have lost their breadwinners and they should be suitably compensated for.

In the meantime, two local leaders of the Congress, Surinder Singh Ramgarh and Sarabjit Singh Jetee, reached there and pacified the protesters. They assured the protesters of action by the police.

Meanwhile, two of the injured are out of danger.

The SDM said they had written to the departments concerned to verify the material used in the construction and the norms allegedly flouted by the contractor and the owners, for further legal action.

Families can seek relief from Labour Dept too

Labour Department official Swarn Singh said Deputy Director of Factories Sukhminder Singh, along with other officials, visited the rice mill site. They will recommend stern action in case of irregularities in the construction of the mill. He also said their department would give compensation to the affected families if they apply for the same.

Won’t succumb to pressure: SSP

After the protesters ended the blockade, the bodies were sent for post-mortem, said SHO of Khamano Navdeep Singh. Fatehgarh SSP Sahib Alka Meena said they would not succumb to any pressure. The suspects would be arrested soon, as the police parties are carrying out raids to nab them.

Villagers block road for three hoursThe inconsolable family members of the deceased block traffic on the GT Road, near Khamano, on Monday. Tribune photo
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Snippets

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