A day after an 18-month-old girl was charred to death after fire broke out in around 40 illegal hutments on shamlat land in Sundra village of Dera Bassi, police booked a landowner for stubble burning.
The accused has been identified as Jeet Singh, a resident of Dafarpur village, Dera Bassi.
He has been booked on the statement of the deceased’s father Ramvir, a grocer. Ramvir said that around 3.30pm on Saturday, he returned home from work and went to a nearby hand pump to take a bath. There, he saw Jeet Singh setting ablaze the stubble in his fields. Due to the flow of the wind, the fire spread towards the hutments and within minutes around 40 to 45 hutments were gutted.
“I rushed to save my 18-month-old daughter Roopa but it was too late,” the complainant told the police.
As per information, the toddler, on seeing the commotion, had rushed inside the hutment to save herself. Her charred body was later found clinging to a bed inside the hutment.
“My daughter died due to Jeet Singh’s negligence. Strict action should be taken against him,” said the toddler’s father.
A case under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.
Dera Bassi station house officer Jaskanwal Sekhon said the toddler’s body was handed over to the family after post-mortem. He added that a hunt is on for Jeet Singh.
Police said the hutments had come up illegally on shamlat land along the river over the last 25 years. The families here are mostly migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and work in fields and factories close by.
Dera Bassi MLA Kuljeet Singh Randhawa said, “The incident was unfortunate and we have arranged food and shelter for families who lost their homes. I have also demanded compensation from the administration,” he said.
First stubble burning death in district
It’s for the first time that stubble burning has caused a death in the district. In the past one month, 27 incidents of stubble burning cases have been reported from Mohali district, but no FIR was registered. The Dera Bassi case is the first in the district where a case has been registered for stubble burning this season.