Actress Hema Malini escaped a deadly highway accident in Rajasthan last night with nothing more than stitches on her head but a child in the Alto her Mercedes collided with died and two others were seriously injured. Police on Friday arrested the driver of the Mercedes, according to reports.
NDTV quoted police officials as saying that the BJP leader's car was speeding and hit the Maruti Alto leading to the death of the girl who was travelling with her parents.
Ramesh Chand Thakur, who was driving Hema's car when it met with the accident in Dausa, 60 km from here, has been arrested at Kotwali Thana, SHO Dilip Singh told PTI.
An FIR was lodged against the driver, who hails from Vrindavan, under various sections of IPC including 279 (rash driving) and 304 (A) (causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide) in the wee hours, the SHO said.
The 66-year-old actress underwent a minor surgery in Fortis hospital in Jaipur and is reported to be fine.
UPDATE: Police arrest Hema Malini's driver after accident last night in which a child was killed— NDTV (@ndtv) July 3, 2015
TV footage showed the actress bleeding on the forehead area above the right eye. There were five occupants in the Alto car -- 2 women, 2 children and a man, a Dausa district official said.
Dausa Collector Swaroop Panwar said a girl child in the Alto car died in the accident near Dausa Highway at 8:50 PM while two of the remaining survivors were seriously injured. Two of the four injured were admitted to SMS hospital in Jaipur while two are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Dausa, he said.
Hema Malini, the BJP MP from Mathura, was proceeding to Jaipur from Mathura in her Mercedes Benz while the other vehicle was proceeding to Lalsoth from Jaipur. The girl who died was identified as Sonam, aged four years.
"I am being told the Mercedes was speeding. It drove over the divider," police officer Rajinder Tyagi told NDTV from Dausa. NDTV said that the driver has been detained by police.
One eyewitness who said he took Hema Malini to Jaipur in his car said she told him to drive fast as she was under great pain. She was bleeding on the forehead, above the eyebrow on the right side.
"She has been hurt on the back, on her legs and on the forehead. Doctors checked her for internal injuries," he said.
Another eyewitness said the Alto car was entering the bypass road from a side road on the highway when the collision occurred.
Read news abt Hema Malini ji's accident. Prayers for speedy recovery of all injured.Condolences to the family of the kid who lost her life.— Naveen Jindal (@MPNaveenJindal) July 3, 2015
A police officer at the Fortis hospital said the star is doing fine and that the doctors have not spoken of any major injury to her. Besides the driver and Hema Malini, two other persons were reported to be travelling with her in the star's luxury vehicle.
Dr Shiv Sharma, physiotherapist in a private hospital, brought Hema and three others to Jaipur in his vehicle from the accident site.
Hema's daughter Esha Deol and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje visited the BJP MP at the hospital.
"She had lacerations in para-nasal area and on forehead near the right eyebrow," P Tamboli, facility director at Fortis said. "A surgery of debridement and repair of lacerated wounds was carried out post midnight," he said.
It was a two-hour long process under general anaesthesia. She is now in post-operative intensive care unit, he said.
"Her clinical parameters are at normal level. She is doing fine and has been started on liquid diet," Tamboli said.
Doctors said that Hema also suffered a minor fracture in her nasal bone. Plastic surgery was carried out near the nose and eyebrows and it will take six weeks for the wounds to heal.
Hanuman Mahajan, who lost his four-year-old daughter Sonam and was among the four injured, filed a complaint with the Kotwali police station in Daus against Ramesh, the SHO said.
He said both the vehicles were seized and a probe was on.
Rajasthan minister Rajpal Singh Sekhawat said, "A plastic surgeon is also part of the team of doctors headed by Dr Sandipan."
SP Dausa, Anshuman Bhomia said,"Five people were injured and out of them Sonam died. Sonam's mother and brother have been referred to SMS hospital."
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief at the mishap.
She tweeted:"Deeply saddened by the news of Dausa accident. I pray for the victims. We're making all efforts to provide immediate relief & medical care.
Meanwhile, Jat leader and Hema Malini's family friend Vijay Punia said that her husband Dharmendra, two daughters and son-in-law are expected to come to the city tomorrow. Hema's spokesperson also said that someone from the actress's family will visit her at the Jaipur hospital.
"She is under treatment. She will be in the hospital for a day or so. We did try to reach her family but could not get through them. I think someone from the family might be travelling," the spokesperson said. (With inputs from PTI)