11 killed in Haryana wall collapse, crusher owner booked

Chandigarh/Gurgaon, Aug 7 (IANS) At least 11 people were killed and over 20 injured on Friday when an under-construction wall of a stone crusher unit collapsed in a village in Haryana’s Mahendergarh district, police said.

Police said the mishap occurred in Dholera village in south-west Haryana, close to the Haryana-Rajasthan border. The village is nearly 140 km from Gurgaon.

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“Crusher owner Naveen alias Chunni, a resident of Narnaul, contractor Sohan Lal Kanvi, Gulshan Yadav from Akbarpur and Dr Prem of Dholera, have been booked under section 304-A (causing death by negligence), section 337 (endangering life of people) and other sections of Indian Penal Code,” Mamta Singh, Inspector General of Police (Rewari range), told IANS.

The IG said a majority of victims were locals and a few belonged to Rajasthan.

Officials said the injured were rushed to a hospital in Narnaul, the district headquarters town, 25 km away from the spot.

At least six critically injured victims were referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak.

“An under-construction wall collapsed due to heavy rainfall in the area,” Narnaul sub-divisional magistrate Mahesh Kumar said.

The district administration announced Rs.2 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased and Rs.50,000 each for the injured.

“A large number of stone crushers are functioning illegally and in violation of norms in connivance with certain officials. The owners are influential. Though the Supreme Court has prohibited mining in Aravalli Hills through its orders in October and December of 2002 and March 3, 2004 but why has Haryana government failed to stop illegal mining,” asked Dr R.P. Balwan, a former forest conservator of Gurgaon range.

“Mining has affected groundwater availability. Mining blasts also damage villagers’ houses. Who will stop the exploitation of poor people?” said Balwan.

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