POONCH ACCIDENT | J&K politicians grieved over loss of lives

At least 11 people were killed and 27 others were injured after a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge.
At least 11 people were killed and 27 others were injured after a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge.ANI

Srinagar/ Jammu: Various political organisations of Jammu and Kashmir and their leaders have expressed grief over the irreparable loss of lives in the tragic Poonch road accident on Wednesday.

At least 11 people were killed and 27 others were injured after a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge near Bareri Nallah in Poonch district this morning.

National Conference President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah have expressed profound grief over the  fatal accident.

In his condolence message, Dr Farooq said, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives in a road accident in Sawjian, Poonch. Condolences to bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. I also urge upon the divisional and district administration to provide best possible treatment to the injured,” he said, asking the government to check recurrence of such accidents.

"Road accidents in Chenab and Poonch Sub-regions are one of the leading causes of death, and disability. CRRI should be consulted to suggest geometric solutions to stop the fatalities. Immediate  steps such as construction of trauma centres in Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar and increased allocation for maintenance to prevent such incidents is also the need of the hour,” he said.

Expressing grief over the incident, Omar Abdullah said, "Very sorry to hear about the tragic loss of lives in a bus accident in Poonch. May the souls of the departed rest in peace & may the injured make a swift recovery,” he said.

Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, while sharing his grief in a press statement, said, “I am deeply pained to learn about this heart wrenching road accident in which more than a dozen precious lives were lost. I offer my condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.” He also urged the J&K government to adequately “compensate the victims, both dead and injured.”

Apni Party president Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari too expressed profound grief and shock over the death of 11 passengers in the Poonch accident.

In his statement, Altaf Bukhari expressed sympathy with the bereaved family members and immediately demanded release of ex-gratia in favour of all those who lost their lives and were wounded in this road mishap.

“The injured persons should be provided specialized free of cost medical treatment. If needed, the government must ensure the timely shifting of the premier hospitals,” he said.

Former Union Minister, Prof Saifuddin Soz expressed profound grief over the fatal accident. In his statement Prof Soz said, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives in a road accident in Sawjian, Poonch. Condolences to bereaved families. May the injured recover soon.”

On this occasion, Prof. Soz also urged upon the divisional and district administration to provide best possible treatment to the injured persons by asking the government to check recurrence of such accidents.

CPI (M) leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, while sharing his shock and grief over the fatal road accident, urged the administration to provide free of cost treatment to the injured persons and ex-gratia to the families of deceased.

Apni Party vice president and former minister Choudhary Zulfikar, in his condolence message, said, “I am deeply saddened at the loss of life in the road accident in Poonch which has consumed 11 lives.”

He said that the government should order a probe to ascertain the cause of the accident so that such incidents could be avoided in future. Zulfikar said that the government should give ex-gratia in favour of the Next of Kin of those who lost the members of their family and special treatment to the injured persons.

JKPCC working president Raman Bhalla too expressed his deep condolence with the families of all those 11 persons killed in Poonch accident. He also consoled the people injured in the accident. Bhalla, however, expressed his anguish on the criminal negligence committed by the concerned authorities for the disproportionate development of the whole Chenab and Pir Panchal valleys.

“The tragic episode has brought to spotlight the poor conditions of roads, lack of proper infrastructure, over-speeding and the flouting of law with impunity. During the last eight years, very less has been done by the BJP-led central government to regulate the road mishaps. This is not an isolated incident.  The unprecedented escalation in the road accidents has left the residents in shock. Overloading of public transport; over-speeding and bad roads with uneven surfaces have led to these accidents,” Bhalla said.

Former legislator and chairman All J&K Kissan Union (AJKKU) Ashok Sharma, in a press statement, extended heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. He prayed for peace to the departed souls and courage to their families to bear this irreparable loss. The former MLA sought the intervention of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the Chief Secretary AK Mehta to ensure best possible treatment to the injured. He also urged them to provide at least Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those who died and Rs 5 lakh each to the injured as ex gratia relief.

The chairman AJKKU further impressed upon the Union Territory government to adhere to the directions of J&K High Court in PIL in Indian Council vs State of J&K & Others in its letter and spirit and adopt road safety measures to protect the life of the people of J&K from such “man-made tragedies.”

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