Union Minister Shripad Naik injured, wife, aide killed in accident
Minister of State for Defense Shripad Naik was injured while his wife, Vijaya, and a close aide, Deepak Dube, died in a car crash late on Monday. Reports said the SUV they were traveling in met with an accident in Hosakambi village, Ankola taluk, Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is recuperating at Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim.
Naik visited the Gante Ganapati temple in Yellapur yesterday morning. After performing pooja there, he left for Gokarna around 7 pm. Not taking the usual road, the vehicle diverted from NH-66, taking a short cut. Since the road was in a dire condition, the driver lost control of the car, reports TOI. Besides Naik, Vijaya, and Dube, three others were also in the car.
The Toyota Innova Crysta car toppled after hitting a tree and later plunged into a ditch, said reports. Pictures from the site showed how badly damaged the car was — it was caught among bushes. "It was not a collision between vehicles. Prima facie it appears to be the case of the driver losing control of the car," a cop told PTI.
Additional SP (Karwar region) S Badarinath claimed the accident happened between 7:45 pm and 8 pm. "Two people suffered serious injuries — the wife of the minister and an aide. The minister had multiple injuries," he added. The remaining three, Naik's personal guard, his friend, and the car's driver suffered minor injuries. One of them was treated in Ankola and others shifted to Goa.
Naik was taken to Goa, about 110 km far from Ankola, for better treatment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have spoken to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to ensure the minister gets the best treatment. Sawant revealed that Naik is out of danger and there's no need to shift him to Delhi just yet. Two minor surgeries would be performed, he revealed.
All the health parameters of Union Minister Shri Shripad Bhau Naik arestable and he is undergoing treatment at ICU of Goa Medical College.— Dr. Pramod Sawant (@DrPramodPSawant) January 11, 2021
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said he will be leaving for Goa to check up on Naik. "May God give strength to his family in this hour of crisis and sorrow," he tweeted. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa said the accident shocked him. "My heartfelt condolences on the tragic death of Smt Naik and prayers for the speedy recovery of Shri Naik and those injured, (sic)" he added.