Police on Friday arrested BJP lawmaker Hema Malini’s driver, a day after her Mercedes collided with a Maruti Alto in Rajasthan killing a two-year-old girl and leaving the actor and four others injured.

    He was produced in court and later granted bail. Officials said Uttar Pradesh resident Mahesh Thakur, the accused, was facing charges of culpable homicide and causing death by negligence.

    Television footage showed Mathura MP Hema Malini walking away from the spot with blood dripping down her face following the crash on National Highway 11 near Dausa district in the western state.

    The incident brought the spotlight back on India’s dangerous roads where about 200,000 people die every year in traffic accidents, according to WHO data. Last year, Hema Malini’s party colleague Gopinath Munde was killed in a car crash in Delhi nearly a week after the 64-year-old took office as the country’s rural affairs minister.

    While the infant travelling in the Maruti hatchback reportedly died on the spot, her parents, a four-year-old brother and an aunt are undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Jaipur.

    Hema Malini, who was in the back seat of the Mercedes, was admitted to a private medical centre with a nasal fracture and injuries to her forehead, cheeks and legs.

    “A surgery of debridement (removal of damaged tissues) and repair of lacerated wounds was carried out post-midnight,” said Pratim Tambole, facility director at the Fortis hospital. “It was a two-hour long process under general anaesthesia. She is now in post-operative intensive care unit.”

    The 66-year-old actor was going to Jaipur after visiting a temple in Rajasthan’s Karauli district when her car crashed into the Maruti Alto carrying the family headed to Lalsot city.

    Read: After criticism, Hema Malini expresses sorrow over child's death

    Car crash victims protest 'lavish attention' to Hema Malini

Overlooking its own terms, MC fails to take action

  • Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • |
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2014 10:51 IST

Even though it has received several complaints about overcharging at the parking lots located on Ferozepur Road, the municipal corporation (MC) has not made any move to ensure parking attendants stop shortchanging visitors.

During the auction of parking lots on June 5, the MC had made it clear in its terms and conditions that every overcharging complaint against a contractor would invite a Rs 1,000 fine and his licence would be revoked if three complaints were received in a row. But the corporation has now overlooked these norms.

Meanwhile, parking attendants continue to fleece visitors.

At the parking lots on Ferozepur Road, the attendants demand Rs 10 for parking a motorcycle or scooter for the first hour, against the approved Rs 5. The parking slip issued by the contractor has the part, which states Rs 5 for first hour, ripped off. Moreover, despite several complaints, parking attendants still do not jot down the vehicle registration number and the time of entry on the parking slips.

When this reporter visited the parking lot near Bhai Bala Chowk on Tuesday, attendants were charging Rs 10 for every motorcycle or scooter and handing over torn slips. Moreover, signboards posting the parking fee rates were unavailable.

“I was charged Rs 10 for the first hour even though I planned to park my vehicle here for less than half an hour. Also, I didn’t have the slightest idea the fee is Rs 5 for the first hour as there was no board at the entrance displaying the parking fees. However, when someone told visitors the stipulated fee for parking a two-wheeler for an hour was in fact Rs 5, the attendants sheepishly admitted the fact and beg an charging Rs 5,” said a visitor, requesting anonymity.

Manjit Singh Mehram, a social activist, said, “The MC should immediately cancel the licence of any parking contractor who openly disregards rules. It’s amazing even after getting several complaints against these contractors, the MC has still not taken any action. There is no ease for visitors.”

HT has on several occasions highlighted the issues being faced by visitors at the city’s parking lots.

On June 12, even MC superintendent for Zone D, Jasdev Sekhon, who had parked his vehicle outside the Silver Arc Mall, was overcharged by the parking attendants.

On June 13 civic of ficials caught an attendant at a parking lot on Ferozepur Road overcharging visitors. He was later taken to a police station. On June 14, an MC team fo und a not her attendant at a parking lot near Vishal Mega Mart on Ferozepur Road fleecing visitors.

When contacted, MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal could only say, “I’ve instructed the official concerned to look into the complaints.”


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