Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini’s driver was today arrested on charges of overspeeding and causing death by negligence after her Mercedes collided with another car, killing a four-year-old girl and injuring the actress along with four others last night.
The 66-year-old Sholay star’s actress underwent a surgery for her wounds at Fortis hospital here and was doing fine, doctors attending to her said. She was also treated for a minor fracture on her nose.
Ramesh Chand Thakur, who was driving Hema’s car when it met with the accident in Dausa, 60 km from here, has been arrested at Kotwali Thana in Dausa, SHO Dilip Singh told PTI.
An FIR was lodged against the driver, who hails from Vrindavan, under various sections of IPC including 279 (rash driving) and 304 (A) (causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide) in the wee hours, the SHO said.
Thakaur was produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Pallavi Sharma who granted bail to the driver. He was later released on bail.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Rajeand Hema’s daughter Esha Deol visited the BJP MP at the hospital & also meet victim family. “She had lacerations in para-nasal area and on forehead near the right eyebrow,” P Tamboli, facility director at Fortis said.
“A surgery of debridement and repair of lacerated wounds was carried out post midnight,” he said. It was a two-hour long process under general anaesthesia. She is now in post-operative intensive care unit, he said. “Her clinical parameters are at normal level. She is doing fine and has been started on liquid diet,” Tamboli said. A team of specialists was attending to her, he said. Doctors said that Hema also suffered a minor fracture in her nasal bone. Plastic surgery was carried out near the nose and eyebrows and it will take six weeks for the wounds to heal.
Bollywood celebrities including Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi and Rishi Kapoor today wished Hema Malini “a speedy recovery after” the actress-politician sustained injuries in a road accident.
Anupam Kher posted on Twitter, “Praying for @dreamgirlhema ji’s speedy recovery.”
Shabana, who shared screen space with Bollywood’s dreamgirl in Suraag, said, “Wish Hema Maliniji a speedy recovery from the trauma of the accident and condolences to parents of child who succumbed to the injuries.”
“@dreamgirlhema Concerned about your well being. Regards Neetu Rishi Ranbir,” tweeted Rishi.
Poonam Dhillon said, “Hemaji, So terrible to hear news of your accident.”
Hema was proceeding from Mathura via Bharatpur to Jaipur when the mishap occurred on Agra-Jaipur National Highway-11 near Dausa in Rajasthan around 9 PM yesterday. The other car was going from Jaipur to Lalsot.
There were three persons in Mercedes– BJP MP from Mathura Hema Malini, her PA and driver, while five persons including two children, two women and the complainant Hanuman Mahajan were in the other car, the SHO said.
Hanuman Mahajan, who lost his four-year-old daughter Sonam and was among the four injured, filed a complaint with the Kotwali police station in Daus against Ramesh, the SHO said. He said both the vehicles were seized and a probe was on.
The distraught father of the two-year-old girl, who died in a car crash with BJP MP Hema Malini’s sedan, is inconsolable, while the injured mother is constantly asking “Chinni kahan hai?”, not knowing her daughter is dead. The family is even more hurt that neither the actor nor her aides bothered to ask about their well-being though, they say, the accident was caused by her speeding car. The mother’s uncle, who did not wish to be identified by name, said, “We have told the father, Hanuman Khandelwal, of the death of the child in the accident. He was shocked and has been crying since yesterday night. We try to console him but fail to do so.
“But we have not told the mother as she is still in a bad condition after the accident,” the relative said. The family was travelling in an Alto car when it was smashed by a Mercedes car coming from the opposite direction. The car was being driven by BJP MP Hema Malini’s driver Mahesh Thakur, with the film actor seated in the car. The accident took place on Thursday night near Dausa, over 50 km from here.
He said Hema Malini’s car was speeding, and this caused the accident. The family is bitter that the BJP MP could have at least checked up on the condition of the family after the accident but she did not do so. “We know she (Hema Malini) was also hurt but at least she could have inquired about the well being of the family… (She could have) asked the doctors to give (the family) proper treatment,” said the relative.
Sonam’s father Hanuman Khandelwal (31), his wife Shikha (26), son Somil (4) and sister-in-law Seema (45) also suffered injuries of varying degrees in the accident which left actor-turned-politician Hema Malini with injuries on her nose and forehead.
While the MP, 66, is undergoing treatment at the Fortis Hospital in Jaipur, 60 km from Dausa, the others were shifted to the SMS Hospital, also in the state capital.
Anguished family members of the Khandelwals said prompt medical aid to the injured could have saved the life of Sonam.
“Two kinds of treatment are being given to victims of the same accident. Hema Malini was immediately taken to the Fortis Hospital, while our family-members were sent to Sawai Man Singh Hospital, where treatment was given very late,” said Rajiv Gupta, a relative of Khandelwal.
“Our only pain is that the treatment is not of the same quality that is being extended to the MP,” he said.