The father of a two-year-old girl killed in a road accident involving Hema Malini’s car lashed out at the veteran actor on Wednesday after she blamed him for the incident, saying he had not broken any traffic rules at the time of the collision.
Hanuman Khandelwal, who lost his daughter Sonam in the accident near Dausa last Thursday, said if the actor had any humanity, she would have taken his daughter with her to a hospital in Jaipur. "Who knows, my daughter would have been with us," he said.
Malini, who is also a BJP lawmaker, tweeted on Wednesday that the accident could have been averted if the “girl’s father had followed the traffic rules”.
Speaking at the SMS Hospital, where he is being treated with his wife Shikha, 26, their four-year-old son Somil and sister-in-law Seema, Khandelwal said: “I never thought big people think so petty.”
He said he was saddened by Malini’s remarks as he had not broken any traffic rules. He also alleged that Malini's Mercedes was travelling at more than 100kmph when it hit his Maruti Alto. "I was driving at a slow speed. I switched on the indicator before taking a turn. Which rule did I break?" he said.
Victim's father says 'saddest part is Hema didn't take my daughter to hospital'
"We are in hospital for so many days and my old mother is alone at home. My father is no more. My cycle shop is closed for many days. You can imagine our situation," he added.
Shikha said, “My husband drives very slowly. If she (Malini) had taken my daughter to hospital, she would have been with us.”
The family said Malini had made the remarks in her defence.
Khandelwal, 31, and his family were returning to Lalsot after meeting a relative in Jaipur on July 2 when his car collided with the Mercedes on the Jaipur-Agra highway. Khandelwal says he fell unconscious after the accident and does not remember anything after the collision.
The 66-year-old Malini, who was sitting in the back seat, suffered a nasal fracture and other injuries on her forehead, cheeks and legs. She was rushed to the Fortis Hospital in Jaipur where doctors conducted a CT scan and then stitched her wounds. She was discharged on Saturday.
In a related development, the Rajasthan human rights commission intervened in the matter and sought a report on the accident from Dausa’s superintendent of police and chief medical and health officer.
Commission member MK Devarajan told Hindustan Times that Khandelwal had made a serious allegation that his daughter died because she did not get the same medical care as Malini.
“It is a serious allegation and, in this regard, the superintendent of police and the chief medical and health officer of Dausa have been asked submit a report after an inquiry and (to explain) how this accident happened,” Devarajan said.
Malini has faced widespread criticism for leaving the accident site alone and not taking the injured family with her to hospital. Her driver Mahesh Thakur was arrested on July 3 on charges on causing death by negligence and speeding. He was later released on bail.