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Pandal workers run over at ISM

Tragedy followed triumph at ISM, Dhanbad, before Sunday dawn when a tent house truck crushed to death two workers on the same ground where President Pranab Mukherjee had lauded the mining cradle’s academic achievements hours ago.

The victims, who were among the 125 labourers hired by Delhi-based NK Kapoor & Co. to raise the 18,000sqft air-conditioned convocation venue, have been identified as Navin Tiwari and Raju Kumar. No further details on the unfortunate duo are available with Dhanbad police.

According to sources, the guilty truck belonged to a tent house company based in Ranchi and was ferrying chairs, used during the ISM’s 36th convocation on Saturday, back to the state capital. “The place was not very lit up, the two were sleeping on the lower ground and the truck driver failed to take notice,” said a source.

The deaths, which apparently took place around 4am, came to light three hours later when another pandal worker spotted the bodies and informed the ISM administration. The institute’s estate and security officer Rahul Kumar, in turn, informed Sadar police station from where a team led by sub-inspector Jama Kariya took the bodies into custody.

Police also grilled contractor Karan Singh who had supplied labourers to the Delhi event management firm.

“Over 125 were hired to build the pandal in 10 days. Most had left after their work was over. Some stayed back to dismantle the structure after the event. All I know about the victims is that they were hired from Chandni Chowk (Delhi),” Singh told police.

Dhanbad Sadar OC Akhileshwar Chaubey said the address of the two workers could not be verified because the contractor could not provided them. “The driver escaped from the scene, but we have contacted the tent house firm in Ranchi for details on his whereabouts,” the officer said.