A retired headmaster of a secondary school jumped into the Upper Ganga Canal on Tuesday at Nanu Ka Pull when the officials asked him to end his dharna in support of his demand of the construction of a new bridge over the canal to replace the 150-year old bridge. The headmaster was rescued safely.

The police, however, have booked him for suicide attempt while his two aides, who are also sitting on a dharna, are booked under section 151 of CrPc for breaching peace and law and order.

According to the SSP office, “Saharanveer Singh, 63, was booked on charges of attempting suicide. He, however, is undergoing treatment in a hospital and is out of danger. His two colleagues who were sitting on dharna have also been booked.”

There is a bridge over the Upper Ganga Canal that passes near Nanu village of Sardhana tehseel. This is an old bridge that was constructed during the British period when the Canal was made between 1840 and 1854. The canal bifurcates from Hardwar in Uttarakhand and passes through various districts of western UP.

Now the bridge is in a dilapidated condition and the Irrigation department has also put up a warning board there but the bridge is still in use.

Retired principal and a resident of nearby village Saroorpur Khurd, Sharanveer Singh, in a bid to raise the issue sat on a dharna on September 28 to demand the construction of a new bridge in order to avoid any possible accident. In order to convince him to end his dharna, the SDM of Sardhana Amit Bhartiya and circle officer Pankaj Singh met him on Tuesday evening. The officials requested him to end his dharna promising that a new bridge would be constructed soon and work will start in coming December.

Sharanveer told the officials that he would give up his life if the construction does not start and requested the officials to come with him to see the poor condition of the old bridge. Showing the warning board he said to the officials that no initiatives have been taken to divert the traffic on this bridge to avoid any accident.

He then suddenly jumped into the canal and his act left the officials and people present there in a state of shock. Immediately, a few villagers jumped into the canal and rescued him. He was then taken to a hospital for treatment and also booked along with his two colleagues.