Meteorite baffles Sangrur villagers
Hotipur (Sangrur), August 3: This non-descript village near Khanauri today hit headlines when a meteorite fell in the fields on Wednesday night, leaving many villagers baffled. The police have taken possession of the 8-cm meteorite to hand it over to a three-member team of Geological Survey of India (GSI), led by a director-level officer, which is arriving tomorrow.
Curious villagers queued up in the fields of Pargat Singh to see the "heavenly object". While the farmer, who was the only witness to the fall of the "fireball", said, "I got scared of the big fireball that was coming my way at 8:45 pm on Wednesday night. I ran for cover as I felt that it will fall on me." "I rushed home and decided not to tell anyone about it. Yesterday morning, I gathered some courage and went to see the spot and found a rock-like object lying in the mud. It was then that I informed the villagers about it, who felt that it was a heavenly object."
There was no crater at the spot where the fireball fell. "Since all meteorites are the property of Geological Survey of India, we informed them and are now waiting for them to arrive," said Sangrur SSP Arun Pal Singh. The GSI team is likely to question the lone witness, Pargat Singh.
Meanwhile, a much sought-after Pargat was busy guiding curious onlookers to his field with pride and giving interviews to a host of TV channels.
Punjab ‘meteorite’ taken for analysis
A three member team of GSI comprising of its directors Rs Rana and Joginder Singh besides senior geologist Baldev Singh today took possession of gray colored rocky substance having green reflections taken into its possession by the police from villagers of Hotipur under Moonak sub-division.
The team after taking it from the SSP, Arun Pal Singh while talking to reporters at local police lines said that they would also examine the spot in the village to investigate and ascertain the truth regarding circumstances in which it came down.
The team said that it would seek help from international experts in astronomy and also undertake a detailed microscopic study, scanning besides electronic study of the object. They have had first experience to see such a substance and its scientific value could be ascertained only after thorough study terming it a national property, they added.
The gravitational force under which the substance hit the fields of Pargat Singh will also be taken into consideration before chemical examination of the substance.
They said that the absence of pit or any trace after felling of the substance would also be taken into consideration indicating some suspicions about the substance. Such an incident had happened for the first time in Punjab, the GSI team said.
They refused to divulge about the authenticity of the substance at this juncture pointing out that 80 percent of the substances detected in large quantity in such a manner from Kachh (Gujarat) a few years back were tested and found to be ordinary stones.
Based on initial investigations, a senior police officer had yesterday described as "hoax" the claim of a farmer of the village, about 60 kms from here, that he had seen a mysterious stone with light in it fall in his fields from the sky during the night.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Moonak Balraj Singh told agencies that the object weighing 235 gms, which had small holes in it, appears to be a mud scrubber used for cleaning the feet.
Singh said that though the villager claims that he had seen the object falling from the sky spreading light, but no crater has been formed at the spot where it was reported to have fallen.
A farmer Pargat Singh, who had claimed that the mysterious object weighing between 150 and 200 gms had fallen in his field, told agencies that he had seen light in the object when it was falling, but there was no light when it came down and the Bajra crop sown in the field had not suffered any damage.