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Govinda's family injured in road accident

Special Correspondent

His secretary, Rishab Jha, killed as their vehicle collides with truck on Jaipur-Ajmer highway

JAIPUR: Film star and Congress Member of Parliament Govinda's secretary Rishab Jha was killed and the family members of the actor, including his wife Sunita and two children, sustained injuries in a road accident between Jaipur-Ajmer near Devaliya on National Highway No.8 on Monday morning.

The family was on its way to the Dargah of the Sufi saint Kwaja Moinuddhin Chisti at Ajmer when the Qualis they had hired from Sanganer airport here collided head-on with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Govinda, a regular visitor to the Dargah, had stayed back in Mumbai this time on account of his preoccupation with the Independence Day celebrations.

According to sources, the accident took place on the newly commissioned six-lane toll road 2 km before Bagru town when a group of school children came in between the truck and the vehicle the family was travelling in. In an attempt to avoid the students, the vehicles collided.

Rishab was brought dead to the Sawai Man Singh Hospital where the others, Sunita, Govinda's 17-year-old daughter Namrata, 10-year-old son Yashovardhan and the driver of the vehicle were admitted. While Sunita and Yashovardhan are out of danger, the condition of Namrata, who sustained injuries on the face, including suspected fractures on cheekbones, is said to be unsteady.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Governor Pratibha Patil visited the hospital to enquire about the health of Govinda's family. Govinda along with his elder brother Kirti Kumar arrived at the hospital around 5-30 p.m. along with Girija Vyas, chairperson of the National Commission for Women and Rajeev Arora, a Congress leader. The police and the authorities at the SMS had a tough time keeping off the surging crowd from entering the surgical ICU where the injured have been admitted.

An exasperated group of electronic media persons and cameramen were heard shouting slogans against police when they were forcibly removed from the vantage points. The entry points to different wards in the hospital were closed to stop the patients and their attendants from coming out to watch a Govinda in real life distress.

Govinda himself, along with friends from Mumbai and Congress workers, was seen carting his son's stretcher to the ambulance waiting outside at around 6-30 p.m. In another 10 minutes he re-entered the hospital premises to have a look at Rishab's body. Govinda broke down in front of his secretary, who was more a friend for him.

The injured were taken to Mumbai in a special Indian Air Force aircraft.

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