MP dy speaker has close shave, cops probe Reds

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

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.

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