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

Army chief seeks more time from CBI

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2012 00:50 IST

Indian Army chief VK Singh during a reception in New Delhi. Singh is in the eye of storm for a leak of a letter describing ammunition shortages and archaic air defences in India. Reuters photo/B Mathur

Army chief General VK Singh has asked the CBI for more time to provide details on his allegation that he was offered R14- crore bribe to clear the purchase of 600 “substandard” Tatra trucks.

Gen Singh was supposed to provide the details this week. So far, he has only sent a brief formal communication to the CBI, claiming that retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh had offered him bribe, but refrained from mentioning even the bribe amount. 

“We are constantly in touch with the general. We hope to get all details from him very soon to get on with our investigation. To register a formal case, the details have to come from him,” a senior CBI official said.

Earlier in his media interactions, Gen Singh, however, claimed that he was offered R14 crore to clear the Tatra deal.

Interestingly, CBI sources said, the charge that the trucks were sub-standard was not part of the probe.

“Nobody is saying the trucks are sub-standard,” said an official.

The CBI, meanwhile, continued to question Vectra owner Ravi Rishi, who facilitated the procurement of the Tatra trucks, for the fifth consecutive day. “The case is based on documents. We are reading the papers and seeking clarifications from Rishi,” said an investigator.


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