Irate residents of Gokhuwal village near Batala today manhandled an ASI and tied him to an electricity pole after a tractor-trailer ran over a 17-year-old boy, killing him there and then. The residents alleged that the ASI had helped the driver flee.Sarbjot Singh, son of Head Constable Satbir Singh, was on his way to the village market on a motorcycle when he was crushed to death. Eyewitnesses said tractor driver Gurdev Ram, who was on the wrong side of the road, failed to notice the motorcyle as he approached a sharp bend. The boy, who was trapped in the rear wheels, died instantly. A huge crowd, comprising residents of Gokhuwal and adjoining villages, gathered at the accident site and took the driver into “custody.”Nirjit Singh, ASI, Batala Civil Lines police station, arrived there along with two more policemen.
As he tried to pacify the furious crowd, Gurdev Ram quietly slipped away. Incensed, the mob accused the ASI of helping the driver flee and began beating him up. Terrified, his colleagues called in reinforcements.In the meantime, the residents tied the ASI to a pole with a ‘siropa’ and rained blows on him, even as his colleagues pleaded that he be spared. The ASI’s uniform was torn.After some time, SSP Daljinder Singh Dhillon and other senior officers reached there and started talks with the residents that lasted 30 minutes. Thereafter, the relatives of the deceased relented and handed over the ASI to the SSP. The latter took him to the Batala Civil Hospital for treatment.The SSP said a probe had been marked. “If found guilty of misconduct, the ASI will be proceeded against. If not, action will be taken against the villagers who dared to take the law into their hands,” he said.