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

'Boko Haram' video claims Nigerian newspaper attack, threatens media

  • AFP, Kano
  • |
  • Updated: May 02, 2012 09:17 IST

A video purportedly from Islamist group Boko Haram on Tuesday showed footage of last week's attack on a Nigerian newspaper and threatens news outlets, including two foreign organisations.

   
The YouTube video includes spoken threats against several Nigerian news organisations as well as the Voice of America and Radio France International services in the Hausa language, which is spoken in northern Nigeria.
   
The voiceover divides the news media into three categories. One is outlets that have already been attacked, namely ThisDay newspaper; the second groups those Boko Haram is ready to attack now, including VOA; and the third is for those on the verge of being targeted, including Radio France, the voice says.
   
"These media outlets have committed serious crimes that are harmful to Islam, which we can't forgive," says the voiceover. "We must take our pound of flesh."
   
At several points in the video, footage is shown of the suicide bombing of ThisDay's office Thursday in the capital Abuja, where five people were killed, including a security guard, three passers-by and the attacker.
   
The video is taken from a distance, but a sport utility vehicle can be clearly seen entering the gate of the newspaper's office, quickly followed by a powerful explosion and a burst of flames.
   
A voice, apparently that of the person filming, says "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).
   
Another portion of the video shows a person portrayed as the suicide bomber for the newspaper attack, at one stage holding an AK-47 assault rifle, at another time waving from inside a vehicle.
   
The attack on Thursday was one of two targeting the media. A complex housing several newspaper offices, including for ThisDay, was also bombed the same day at roughly the same time, killing four people.
   
The bombings were the first such attacks against news media in Nigeria, which has been hit by months of deadly violence attributed to Boko Haram.
   

 

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