The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Police get to driver, not to Aishwarya
- ‘extremely sorry’ stuntman gaud questioned

Mumbai, April 4: The stuntman driving the Maruti Gypsy that ran over Aishwarya Rai’s left foot, causing hairline fractures on her small toe, and flung her a few paces towards a cactus bush is under the scanner.

Police in Nashik, where the accident occurred on the sets of Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Khaki on Wednesday, have “extensively” interrogated Raju Gaud.

District superintendent of police Ravindra Kumar Singhal confirmed that the stuntman was questioned after Aishwarya had been flown to Mumbai by a chartered helicopter, rushed in by co-star Amitabh Bachchan. “The person in question was grilled for more than two hours,” Singhal said.

“Preliminary’’ reports have revealed no sabotage or “pre-planned criminal intent”. The investigation appears to confirm that Gaud lost control of his vehicle when it skidded over some “unaccounted-for gravel”, as Khaki’s producer Keshu Ramsay had said immediately after the incident.

Though the stuntman did not speak, members of the film’s crew said he was “extremely sorry” about the accident.

But the police are still on the job and would dig their teeth into the investigations if Aishwarya files a complaint. A police officer in Nashik said that if Gaud is found guilty of negligence, a case will be registered against him and he will be arrested.

Aishwarya, sources close to her said, is not planning to go to the police.

Police sources said officers are questioning the crew of Khaki — which also stars Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Tusshar Kapoor. Further investigations will be carried out by assistant inspector S.M. Munde.

Sounding a little disappointed, a police officer said: “As of now, we have not been able to speak to Aishwarya about her accident. She had already been shifted from the Kakatkar hospital in Nashik to the Hinduja hospital in Mumbai by the time we wanted to start the proceedings. Moreover, she is not well.”

At Hinduja hospital, where Aishwarya is recuperating in a special room on the 15th floor, Dr Sanjay Agarwalla said her injuries were not serious and she would be up and about after a few weeks’ rest. The star has, however, been advised to skip action for at least one-and-a-half months.

Barring a motley group of fans and a few journalists, there were no signs at the hospital of the star’s presence. The frenzy of the first day had died down. The security had not been stepped up either.

Other than that those wanting to go to the 15th floor were being extensively quizzed and mostly denied entry, the authorities didn’t seem overly worried about shielding the actress from nosey visitors. Anupam Varma, deputy director at the hospital, said they had not had to deal with frenzied mobs wanting a glimpse of the star.

The hospital authorities, who are only allowing in family and close friends, were not telling whether Vivek Oberoi called on the actress today.

The star of Company and Saathiya had spent most of Wednesday night at the hospital, to be by the side of his “good friend”.

Email This Page