Vehicles remain stranded on the highway during the protest near Jamshedpur on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
A 25-year-old youth was killed after the motorcycle he was riding collided head-on with a speeding dumper at Galudih’s Narga, around 40km from Jamshedpur, on Sunday afternoon.
The incident, which took place around 12.30pm, triggered vociferous protests from local residents who first pelted stones on passing vehicles and then staged a blockade on NH-33 for close to an hour, holding up around 400 vehicles on either side of the road.
Sources said Bandhadih resident Phani Bhushan Mahto was on his way towards Asanboni when his two-wheeler collided with the oncoming truck. The dumper was apparently on its way back to Jamshedpur after dumping a consignment of slag at Galudih.
As the news of the accident spread, hundreds of local residents from nearby villages rushed to the spot and resorted to stone pelting. They then squatted on the road demanding the immediate arrest of the killer driver and compensation for the kin of Mahto.
The protesters also refused to hand over the body to a police party that reached that spot unless their demands were met.
Later, Galudih sub-inspector Jogendra Paswan rushed to the spot with reinforcements and tried to pacify the agitators. Though the villagers refused to budge from their stand for some 45 minutes or so, they later gave in after being assured of tough action against the erring driver by the police officer.
Meanwhile, Ghatshila block development officer Sandeep Anurag Topno, too reached the spot and handed over a cheque of Rs 10,000 as compensation to the kin of Mahto.
After the blockade was lifted, the police recovered the body and sent it to Ghatshila hospital for post-mortem.
“I assured the villagers that we will zero down on the killer truck and bring its driver to justice. He will be tried for rash driving once arrested,” Paswan said.
He added that the administration would also provide all possible help to Mahto’s family and help them in claim money from the general insurance company.
Speaking to The Telegraph later, a villager said they had time and again complained to no avail about the movement of dumpers on the stretch of NH-33 as it increased the chances of a mishap.