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

City rivals riding high on emotion

Two teams, and their thousands of supporters who normally occupy stadiums 500 yards apart, travel down from Liverpool in the north of England to London in the south to play an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

The game falls on the 23rd anniversary of 96 Liverpool fans being crushed to death at another semifinal in Sheffield in 1989.

Players of both teams will wear black armbands, floral tributes will be laid by Steven Gerrard and Phil Neville - the captains - and there will be a period of silence before kick-off to commemorate the occasion.

Kenny Dalglish believes it is almost symbolic the two clubs should meet again so respects can be paid. "It's coincidental that it's Liverpool and Everton at Wembley again because that was the final that year [1989]," the Liverpool manager said.

"It's going to be very emotive for everybody. The Evertonians were affected by Hillsborough as well as the Liverpool fans, with family members who never came home. It will be poignant and I'm sure both sets of fans will grace the minute's silence with the dignity they've shown since 1989."http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/14-04-pg-22c.jpg

While remembering the Hillsborough victims will be paramount before kick-off, once the whistle goes the two neighbours will go into fierce battle for a place in the final next month.

Winning or losing this game will make or break the season for these neighbors and rivals.

Liverpool, the red team in their shared city, needs the FA Cup to satisfy the owners from Boston that their investment is on the right path. Everton, the blue side, craves a buyer to put it on anywhere near a level financial field.

The clubs have met 217 times. Liverpool has won 87 and Everton 66; 64 games were drawn.

And into all of this step two men who have never played in the Liverpool derby. Everton's impressive new Croatian striker, Nikica Jelavic, will be shooting against Liverpool's third-string goalie, Brad Jones.

The Australian keeper steps up because Pepe Reina and Alexander Doni are suspended. But nerves might not be Jones's paramount emotion this weekend: His partner, Dani, gave birth to a son last week. Five months ago, the couple's first child died of leukemia.

 

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