5 killed, 11 injured as landslide hits mini-bus

Wreckage of mini-bus, which came under boulder after landslide near Piyakul area on Thathri-Gandoh road in Doda on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary
Wreckage of mini-bus, which came under boulder after landslide near Piyakul area on Thathri-Gandoh road in Doda on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary

Failure to repair road leads to tragedy

X-En suspended for dereliction of duty

Ajay Raina
DODA, Apr 24: Five persons including three women were killed and 11 others injured when a mini-bus, they were travelling in, came under a boulder after a landslide hit a stretch of Thathri-Gandoh road at Piyakul today.

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The ill-fated vehicle bearing registration number JK17-4953 was on its way to Kahara from Doda when a big boulder hit it at Piyakul on Thathri-Gandoh road in the afternoon resulting into on the spot death of three passengers and serious injuries to 13 others.
On getting information, police team rushed to the spot and with the help of locals started rescue operation. All the injured persons were shifted to Thathri Hospital, from where several injured persons were referred to District Hospital Doda for advanced treatment. However, two injured succumbed to their injuries, taking toll to five.
The deceased have been identified as Mudasir Ahmed, son of Javid Ahmed, a resident of Jora, Mansoor Ahmed, son of Saif Din of Kanoo Botogra, his wife Gulshan Bagam, Shakeela Bagam, wife of Ghulam Nabi of Kanoo Botogra and Kamlesha Devi, wife of Surjeet Singh, a resident of Chichal.
After completing legal and medical formalities, the bodies of the deceased were handed over to their family members for last rites.
The injured were identified as Shafaqat Hussain, son of Din Mohammad of Khara Batoli, Rashida Begum, wife of Jaleel Ahmed of Budi Joura, Shakuntla Devi, wife of Mulkh Raj of Ranjana, Jaleel Ahmed, son of Roshan Din of Budi Joura, Nawshad Ahmed, son of Nazir Ahmed of Tanta, Mohammad Akram, son of Alif Din of Khara Indlu, Shalinder Singh, son of Surjeet Singh of Chichal, Khalid Hussain, son of Akhter Hussain of Bhatara, Rinku Devi, wife of Balwant Singh of Khara, Abdul Wahid, son of Nazir Ahmed of Nan (Chibba) and Kewal Kumar, son of Ram Singh of Piyakul.
“Two persons and a truck came under debris after landslide on March 23 at same spot. The dead bodies of the persons and the vehicle were retrieved later. However, authorities failed to repair this damaged stretch despite lapse of around one month, due to which again precious lives were lost and many rendered injured in today’s accident”, police sources said.
In this regard, cognizance has been taken by Gandoh Police and investigation started to ascertain the reason behind the incident.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has directed the district administration of Doda to provide all necessary medicare facilities to the injured persons. He has also expressed grief over the loss of lives and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families. Dr Singh also prayed for speedy recovery of the injured persons.
However, taking serious note of careless approach of PWD (R&B) Special Sub Division Gondoh to keep the road through at Piyakul and take necessary measures for improvement of the same arisen due to the frequent landslide, DDC Doda, Dr Sagar D Doifode has ordered suspension of Executive Engineer (Xen) PWD (R&B) Special Sub Division Gondoh MK Vikram.
“Xen PWD (R&B) Special Sub Division Gondoh MK Vikram was directed to ensure adaptation of all the preventive measures particularly after the unfortunate incident of landslide on March 23, but Xen has not adhered to the instructions, thus showing clear dereliction of duty”, the order issued by DDC read.
“DDC Doda has imparted clear instructions to all district and sectoral officers not to leave the station without prior written permission, but Xen MK Vikram has not adhered to the instructions and left the station without prior permission”, the order read further.
In view of the above facts, DDC Dr Sagar D Doifode has ordered suspension of Xen MK Vikram and has directed Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Doda to conduct enquiry into the matter and submit the report at the earliest.