MP dy speaker has close shave, cops probe Reds
Bhopal/Jabalpur: Four policemen in the escort car of Madhya Pradesh deputy speaker Hina Kawre were killed after a truck rammed into their vehicle on Sunday night at Saleteka village.
Hina’s driver swerved in the nick of time. “If my driver weren’t alert, the truck would have rammed our car also,” Hina told TOI.
Police arrested the truck driver, who told them he had received a message from the government hospital in Budhi (45km from the accident site) that his wife had gone into labour, hence he was anxious to reach there as soon as possible. His wife delivered a child past midnight.
Hina, 34, was on her first visit to Balaghat, MP’s only Maoist-affected district, af- ter being elected as the deputy speaker. Police are probing a possible insurgent angle because Hina had received extortion letters from an alleged Maoist outfit, Sangram Dalam, on January 3 and 8, threatening to kill her on January 16 unless she paid up Rs 20 lakh.
“We don’t think there is any conspiracy angle to this. I was awake at the time of incident. It was the truck driver’s fault,” she told TOI.
Hina’s father, Likhiram Kawre, a minister in the Digvijaya Singh-led Congress government of MP, was killed by Maoists on December 16, 1999. It was one of the most brutal murders of a politician in Indian history with the head of Likhiram sawed off and the body left in front of his residence. Police never got the killers.