By : Arvind Sharma
Last night a mini-truck full of devotees from Kapurthala, Punjab, plunged into a deep gorge on Himachal–Punjab border near Hoshiarpur due to brake failure killing 20 people while 40 got injured. The dead included three children.
The mini-trucks were returning home from Chintpurni temple situated in Himachal Pradesh. Majority of the truck passengers were sleeping when the vehicle met its fate near village Manguwal about 16 kilometers away from the village Hoshiarpur.
The relief work was hampered due to night. Police removed people from ditch with the help of passers-by. Hoshiarpur SSP on receiving news of the accident, rushed to the spot with his team. The injured were immediately taken to hospital in Hoshiarpur where some people are still critical. Most of the victims were from the same family.
Chintapurni is located in district Una of Himachal Pradesh. Chintpurni, a major pilgrimage center for Hindus and one of the benches located across the country ‘s 51 Shakti Peeths.
During the Navratras many Hindu devotees visit Devi temples of Una and Kangra district of Himachal. And due to less expensive mode majority of them use vehicles like trucks to visit the area. In the past years it is observed that many such unauthorized transport lorries have met with fatal accidents in the state. Himachal government has already banned such vehicles to carry passengers in the state, but still such carriers are coming to Himachal from neighboring states during the current Navratras.
Balbir Thakur, SSP Kangra at Dharamshala said that police at the moment is drawing challan from these vehicles, but now they may cancel their permits if they will not stop carrying passengers.