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She called up to say she was safe: Victim’s father 

Bathinda, November 8

So badly were the bodies crushed that parents had a tough time in identifying their children, run over by a truck on the Bathinda-Chandigarh highway today morning.

Parents and relatives gathered outside the mortuary of the local Civil Hospital, numb and shocked. The only give away was clothes and other belongings of the eight deceased students. In all, nine persons died in the smog-related accident.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sakshi Sahwney said all bodies had been identified and most of the deceased were students from Rampura Phul.

Khushbir Kaur’s father was inconsolable after identifying her daughter’s body.

Ishwar Kumar (19) of Bhucho Mandi was the only son of his parents. He was preparing for a medical exam and had enrolled at a study centre here for coaching.

The father of a deceased girl said his daughter called him up today morning on her way to Bathinda. “She said the bus she had boarded had met with a minor accident, but all passengers were safe. Moments later, a truck crushed her to death,” he said.

Another deceased Manpreet Kaur wanted to go abroad for studies, for which she was preparing for IELTS at an institute here. She had boarded the bus for the institute.

With tears rolling down his eyes, her father Jagroop Singh said, “My entire family is into farming, but my daughter wanted to work abroad.”

Like Manpreet’s, another dream was crushed before it took flight. Khushbir Kaur wanted to become a doctor. She was pursuing B Sc from Government Rajindra College. “My daughter always used to say that she would treat the poor free of cost. But the God has taken her away at such a young age,” her father Jaswinder Singh said.

CM wants strict norms for drivers

Chandigarh: Expressing shock and grief over road accidents in which 10 persons, including eight students, were killed in Bathinda, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered issuance of strict guidelines to bus drivers for driving their vehicles in foggy conditions. An official spokesperson said Amarinder had directed Finance Minister Manpreet Badal to ensure the best possible treatment, free of cost, to those injured in the mishap, and ordered the civil and police authorities in the district to extend all help to bereaved families. TNS

Stubble: Onus on Centre, says Capt 

Chandigarh: Sharing the concern of his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal over rising pollution levels in northern states, CM Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the situation warranted intervention by the Centre, which should compensate farmers to check stubble-burning. Responding to Kejriwal’s request for a meeting to discuss the issue, he said any discussion of the CMs would serve no purpose, with the Centre alone equipped to address this issue. “The situation in Punjab is serious. A spate of accidents has taken place because of smog,” he added. TNS

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