CHANDIGARH — A 13-year-old girl died and her mother was seriously injured in Punjab when they had to jump out of a moving private bus to escape molestation. Following this the bus staff were booked for murder, police said on Thursday.
The incident took place on Wednesday evening near Moga town, 175 km from here.
The girl was declared brought dead by doctors. The mother was admitted to a government hospital in Moga.
Police registered a case of murder (Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code), attempt to murder (Section 307), molestation (Section 354) and crime done with common intention (Section 34) against the bus staff and some unidentified youth.
The Orbit Aviation bus, which belongs to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's family, was impounded.
"We are investigating the matter and trying to nab the accused. The bus has been impounded," a police officer told media on Wednesday night.
Eyewitness account of passengers on the bus indicated that the mother and daughter were subjected to molestation and lewd remarks by some youth and the bus staff after they boarded it.
When both of them, travelling with a boy, tried to get off the bus, the driver increased the speed.
"No one on the bus came to the rescue of the victims. There were not many passengers in the bus when the incident happened," an eyewitness told police.
The Lok Sabha was disrupted when Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members sought a discussion on the death of the girl.
Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and AAP's Bhagwant Mann and Dharamvir Gandhi raised the issue but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan disallowed a discussion saying they can raise it only during zero hour.
Furious, the rebuffed MPs trooped near the speaker's podium and started shouting slogans demanding an immediate discussion.
The speaker, however, asked them to return to their seats and adjourned the house briefly.
The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) general secretary Jagmati Sangwan dubbed the case as 'painful' and said that action should not only be taken against the accused but also the passengers who sat as mute spectators while the incident took place.
"The only reason she jumped off the bus was because no one came to her rescue," she added.
Badal expressed grief over the incident.
"I am aggrieved over this incident. It is unfortunate that bus belongs to us. Whatever happened is not good and it is like Himalayan blunder. It is the biggest sin," Singh told reporters.