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Prince rescue: Officials, locals played part too
Onkar Singh in Kurukshetra | July 25, 2006 11:19 IST
Last Updated: July 25, 2006 14:13 IST
Two days after a six-year-old boy who fell into a 55-feet pit was rescued, the Kurukshetra deputy commissioner has said it was he who marshaled the effort and that the army merely played a part in the larger scheme of things.
Kurukshetra DC T K Sharma on Monday claimed that he led the effort to rescue Prince, requesting the army's presence and blamed the local media for diverting the attention from him.
A local news report said the deputy commissioner was busy attending to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and other politicians who had reached the spot on Sunday afternoon and had no role in the relief and rescue operations. "These small paper owners have their own agenda," Sharma told rediff.com.
In his words, here's how Sharma went about the rescue operation.
"I got information a couple of hours after Prince fell into the pit and immediately sent one of my staff to verify and find out the kind of assistance that would be needed. Then I reached the spot around 11 pm and was there ever since," he said.
Being the chairman of the Shahabad Sugar Mills, he got help from the local welders and cutters and got all the required material for makeshift drums to remove the dirt from the nearly dry well, Sharma said.
Locals also confirmed that the deputy commissioner was present throughout the rescue operations. "He did not move away for long. In between he went to organize things but he was here," said 70-year-old Gurcharan Singh of Haldaheri.
He added: "Over 40 persons from the village were involved in cleaning the abandoned well, helping the army gain some time. Some gases oozed out each time we dug deep. It was not possible to dig for more than 15 minutes at a time. We took turns," said Jaswinder Singh, one of Prince's neighbours.
When asked to clarify, army sources, however, refused comment. "What happened was seen by the entire country. We are not interested in credit. Our mission was to rescue the boy and that's what we have done," said a senior Indian Army officer in New Delhi.