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Home India Prominent Personalities Who Died in Car Crashes – Rajesh Pilot to Gopinath...

Prominent Personalities Who Died in Car Crashes – Rajesh Pilot to Gopinath Munde

Cyrus Mistry’s death in a road accident brings back memories of several other high-profile personalities, who lost their lives in similar mishaps. The former Tata Sons chairman and a family friend were killed when the car they were travelling in hit a divider on a bridge at Palghar district’s Charoti. Two others, including the driver, were injured in the crash and have been hospitalised.

From Giani Zail Singh, who was a former president of India, to Congress leader Rajesh Pilot and satirist Jaspal Bhatti, the list of tragedies has people from across the spectrum:

Deep Sidhu, February 2022

Indian actor and activist Deep Sidhu pays his respect on 37th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. (Image: NARINDER NANU/AFP)

Prominent Punjabi actor-turned-activist was killed in a road accident after his Mahindra Scorpio rammed a truck on the highway in Sonipat, on February 15, 2022. Sidhu hit the headlines during the farmers’ protest in connection with the violence at Red Fort on Republic Day in 2021.

Nandamuri Harikrishna, August 2018

Former Rajya Sabha MP Nandamuri Harikrishna was the son of legendary actor-politician NT Rama Rao. (Image: @Vice President of India/Twitter)

Telugu actor and Telugu Desam Party leader Nandamuri Harikrishna was killed in a road accident on August 29, 2018. Harikrishna, the son of legendary actor-politician NT Rama Rao or NTR, was a popular actor and producer. His son NTR Junior and brother Nandamuri Balakrishna are also big stars in the South Indian film industry.

Gopinath Munde, June 2014

BJP leader Gopinath Munde (R) and then party president Rajnath Singh arrive at Parliament House in New Delhi. (Image: RAVEENDRAN/AFP)

‘Lokneta’ Gopinath Munde was a prominent OBC leader from Maharashtra. The senior BJP leader, who was a cabinet minister in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for a short while, was killed on June 3, 2014, when his car was rammed by a speeding cab on the way to the Delhi airport. He was rushed to AIIMS but due to fatal injuries, he could not be revived once he went into a cardiac arrest. The senior BJP leader, who is the father of politician Pankaja Munde, is known to have taken strict measures to control underworld crime in Mumbai during his tenure as deputy CM and home minister from 1995-99. He is the chief architect of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Jaspal Bhatti, October 2012

Comedian Jaspal Bhatti (C) pays his respects at Golden Temple in Amritsar on October 21, 2012. (Image: NARINDER NANU/AFP)

One of the foremost satirists of the Indian comedy scene, Jaspal Bhatti’s tragic death in a car accident left many shocked. He died at the age of 57 near Punjab’s Jalandhar on October 25, 2012. Most popular for his television comedy show Flop Show, Full Tension on Doordarshan, Bhatti left behind a rich body of work giving him the moniker “King of Comedy”. His brand of humour dealt with social awakening through laughter, focusing on issues dealing with corruption and power. His wife, Savita Bhatti, installed the ‘Jaspal Bhatti Humour Festival’ in his memory that takes place in Chandigarh every year on his birth anniversary.

Sahib Singh Verma, June 2007

Senior BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma (R) presents a turban to then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee on his birthday celebrations on Christmas Day in 2001. (Image: RAVI RAVEENDRAN/AFP)

The fourth chief minister of Delhi, BJP’s Sahib Singh Verma was killed when his car collided with a truck near Shahjahanpur on national highway 8. He was returning to the national capital after laying the foundation stone of a school in Rajasthan’s Sikar district. He served as a senior vice-president of the BJP and also the union labour minister of India.

Rajesh Pilot, June 2000

Congress activists and supporters of Rajesh Pilot carry a large-sized portrait during his funeral in New Delhi, on June 12, 2000. (Image: ARKO DATTA/AFP)

The father of Congress leader Sachin Pilot, Squadron Leader Rajeshwar Prasad Bidhuri, or Rajesh Pilot, was killed in a car accident at Bhadana in his parliamentary constituency Dausa on June 11, 2000. A prominent Gujjar leader of the grand old party, he was 57 when he died. His car rammed a state transport bus and he was declared dead within 45 minutes of being rushed to the hospital. Pilot was a strong contender for the leadership of the Congress, when he was killed in the accident.

Giani Zail Singh, December 1994

Cuban leader Fidel Castro, then president Giani Zail Singh (C) and then PM Indira Gandhi at Palam airport on March 6, 1983. (Image: PUNJAB PRESS/AFP)

The seventh president of India (1982-87), Giani Zail Singh succumbed to multiple injuries on Christmas Day in 1995, a month after he met with a car accident near Chandigarh on November 29,1994. A truck driving on the wrong side of the road hit the car the 78-year-old was travelling in. He was not in office when the incident took place. The Centre announced seven days of official mourning for Singh and issued a commemorative postage stamp. His presidency from 1982 to 1987 was marked by a high-tension period in national politics with Operation Blue Star, assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi and anti-Sikh riots in 1984. The Congress veteran was the Punjab CM from 1972-77, while also holding several ministerial posts in the union cabinet throughout his political career.

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