KAS officer, three of family die in Doda accident

KAS officer, three of family die in accidentFour persons were killed when their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge near the Khelani area of Doda on the Batote-Kishtwar national highway.
Kalyan Singh, a promising KAS officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Government, was one of the victims. He was posted as Additional Secretary, Roads and Buildings Department, at present.
His wife Anita Devi and her aunt Soma Devi were also killed in the accident. Kalyan Singh’s brother-in-law Vinkel, who was critically injured and airlifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu, breathed his last in the evening.
Kalyan Singh’s only child, 16-year-old Mayank Parihar, was orphaned as he lost his family in the accident. Mayank was airlifted to Doda by Rohit Kansal, Commissioner Secretary, Roads and Bridges Department.
The accident occurred around 10:45 am today while they were on way to Kalyan Singh’s native village Jodhpur, near Doda, with his father Prab Dayal’s body.
Prab Dayal breathed his last at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu around 3 am. They were on their way to the village to perform his last rites.
“As per eyewitness accounts, the vehicle hit a stone and jumped in the air. After landing, it skidded and fell into a deep gorge. We have registered a case and are investigating the matter,” said Zahid Manhas, Senior Superintendent of Police, Doda.
Thousands of persons had fallen prey to this narrow and dangerous highway, which presented a picture of successive governments’ stepmotherly attitude towards the hilly districts of Doda and Kishtwar.
“It continues to serve the purpose of being only ‘and’ of Jammu and Kashmir. The 7 lakh people living in the area never got recognition as citizens of the state,” said Sanaullah Tantray, a resident of Doda.
“First, hydroelectric power projects were constructed without any policy, which made the area vulnerable to earthquakes and land sinking. Secondly, no attention was paid to deteriorating condition of the national highway,” he said.
Kalyan Singh was not the only person to be killed on this highway. Thousands of persons had been killed in accidents on various stretches of the highway.
On October 7, 2014, 36-year-old Yasir Arafat, Assistant Commissioner Development, Kishtwar, was killed in a road accident near the Bhandarkote area of Kishtwar when his vehicle skidded off the road.
Residents of Doda had been asking as to how many more people would be killed on the highway. “Is this the fate of our people as this highway has swallowed our loved ones time and again?” asked an agitated Pritam Singh.