Union Minister Gopinath Munde dies after car crash; Modi says his demise leaves a void

Munde was on his way to Delhi airport when his car was rammed by a speeding Indica, leading to his death.

By: Express News Service Written by Ananya Bhardwaj , Prawesh Lama | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2014 3:53 pm
Gopinath Munde was on his way to Delhi airport when he met with a head-on collision. Gopinath Munde was on his way to Delhi airport when he met with a head-on collision.

Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde, the OBC face of the BJP in Maharashtra, died of injuries in a road accident early Tuesday morning in the heart of New Delhi, plunging his party and state into grief and gloom.

Munde (64) was on his way to the Delhi airport when the SX4 he was travelling in was rammed by a speeding Indica car at the Aurobindo Marg-Tughlak Road intersection at 6.20 am, police said.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, among the first to reach the AIIMS Trauma Centre where Munde was taken by his personal assistant and driver, said death was caused due to severe injuries to the cervical spine and liver.

The Indica car that dashed into Munde's SX4. The Indica car that dashed into Munde’s SX4.

“The fracture of his cervical spine C1 and C2 cut off blood supply to the brain stem. This led to failure of his respiratory and cardiac centres. This was caused by the impact between the two cars. There were also two to three tears in the liver which led to collection of blood in his abdomen,” Harsh Vardhan told reporters.

The driver of the Indica, Gurvinder Singh (40), who called the police control room to say his car had been hit by a vehicle with a red beacon, was arrested and booked. He was granted bail later in the day by a local court.

“We have registered a case of rash and negligent driving resulting in death. We have arrested the accused and are investigating the matter,” Mukesh Meena, Joint Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, said.

The Maruti SX4 in which Gopinath Munde was travelling. The Maruti SX4 in which Gopinath Munde was travelling.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who also reached the hospital, announced the death of Munde to reporters. In an official statement, the AIIMS spokesperson said when Munde was brought to the hospital “there was no spontaneous breathing, no blood pressure, no pulse, bilateral pupils were dilated and fixed and no cardiac activity was present… immediately the CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) was started and continued for the next 50 minutes…. he could not be revived and was declared dead at 7.20 am.”

A panel of doctors conducted the post-mortem. No external injury, other than an abrasion on the nose, was visible. The post-mortem report, expected in a day or two, will reveal the extent of internal injures.

Ministers, leaders, officials and partymen gathered at the hospital and waited for Munde’s family who flew in from Mumbai to receive the body. At 12.40 pm, an Army truck carrying the body moved out of the hospital and headed for the BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road where leaders, cutting across party lines, had assembled to pay tribute. Those who turned up included Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Gopinathmundegraphics

In a tweet soon after Munde’s death, Modi called him a “friend” and a “true mass leader”. “My tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill,” he said.

Munde’s body was later flown to Mumbai in a special aircraft. It will be taken to Latur on Wednesday morning and then to Parli in Beed — Munde’s Lok Sabha constituency — where he will be accorded a state funeral in the afternoon.

Police said Munde was on his way to Delhi airport from where he was to fly to Maharashtra for an election victory rally. His car approached the Aurobindo Marg intersection from Prithviraj Road and was headed to Safdarjung Road. It was then that the Indica, speeding down Aurobindo Marg, rammed his car. Munde was in the rear left seat at the time of the collision.

Police claimed Gurvinder was overspeeding and jumped a traffic signal. “In his statement, Munde’s driver said that he still had 23 seconds left for the light to turn red and that it was Gurvinder’s fault since he did not stop even though he could see the minister’s car crossing the junction,” police said.

A traffic police officer posted at the junction said Gurvinder must have seen Munde’s car from a distance but since he was overspeeding, he could not stop the car though he did appear to have applied the brakes. “The first skid mark was at ten feet, the second at 20 feet and the car finally stopped after 31 feet. The skid marks on the road show that he tried hard to halt the car,” the officer said.
Police said Gurvinder was an employee of Silver Service Pvt Ltd which had been hired by Hotel Imperial to fetch and drop guests.

In a statement, Imperial Hotel said it had “no concern” with either the Indica or its driver Gurvinder: “Hotel has an agreement with M/s Silver Service for provision of transportation services for hotel guests and the driver, Gurvinder Singh, is an employee of the Silver Service… the car and driver were not on duty of Hotel Imperial in any manner whatsoever.”

Reactions:

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  1. H
    HIMANSU SEKHAR
    Jun 3, 2014 at 3:37 am
    such a bad luck to munde ji. unthinkable loss.how to overcome ?
    Reply
    1. Z
      zeeshan
      Jun 3, 2014 at 5:40 am
      M said
      Reply
      1. A
        ann
        Jun 3, 2014 at 6:10 am
        Did you mean heartfelt?
        Reply
        1. m
          m. abraham
          Jun 3, 2014 at 8:39 am
          His death is unbelievable.It is a very sad news. A very active person is no more.
          Reply
          1. A
            A Ranjan
            Jun 3, 2014 at 8:36 am
            This may have been deliberate. Not jumping to conclusions, but the suion can't be ignored
            Reply
            1. A
              Anurag
              Jun 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm
              Why sx4 has steel bumper guard and steel side guard? I own sx4 and suzuki clearly says that don't add any additional accessories which are not comapny approved to fit. Any automobile expert never suggest to add steel bumper guard / side steel bars. Steel bars propogate all vibrations to chasis and it is dangerous. SX4 is not highest rated saftey car but it is not so bad that in accident paenger lost life. Only culprit to this unfortunate event is un authorised modification in car to save car from dent.
              Reply
              1. A
                Anurag
                Jun 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm
                seat belts save life. Please always wear seatbelt, either seated in front or back seat.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Ashok Loni
                  Jun 3, 2014 at 3:40 am
                  sri Gopinath munde's road accident was real one? anything behind?
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Bibhuti
                    Jun 3, 2014 at 3:49 am
                    Rip Mr.Munde. What about the other penger's driver & body guard's ??
                    Reply
                    1. J
                      James Bond
                      Aug 6, 2014 at 10:03 am
                      Awe-inspiring blogs I love reading your articles.Bankruptcy Attorney Chicago IL
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        Vishakha Bajaj
                        Jun 3, 2014 at 7:37 am
                        Shocking.......May his soul rest in peace....:bit.ly/1cUxgxr
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          jay
                          Jun 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm
                          Indian youth enjoy breaking traffic signals especially in India...they become civilized in foreign countries...why ?preliminary Postmortem report has come ,His liver was ruptured which caused internal bleeding. Due to the sudden shock/impact, he then suffered cardiac arrest. None of the external wounds were fatal enough to cause death.May he RIP.
                          Reply
                          1. G
                            gajanan lipane
                            Jun 3, 2014 at 5:33 am
                            very sad demise of Munde ji.my condolences to his family
                            Reply
                            1. G
                              Girish
                              Jun 3, 2014 at 6:01 am
                              Gopinath Munde died not due to road accident but due to shock. There were talks of him being a future CM.His brother-in-law Pramod Mahajan, who was seen as a future PM, was killed by his brother Praveen Mahajan, who himself died in jail.Death mysteriously stalks this clan.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                shantanu gunwante
                                Jun 3, 2014 at 6:09 am
                                Live: Indian Minister Gopinath Munde dies in road accident at Delhi :myreviewworld/live-...
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Al Makedonon
                                  Jun 3, 2014 at 8:56 am
                                  of course it was deliberate. there is war going on and criems of plausible deniability are the favored method of ination
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    Jay
                                    Jun 3, 2014 at 4:21 am
                                    Now it will be interesting to see who becomes CM of Maharashtra. A strong BJP leader is taken out of the way... Pure Filmy political conspiracy! May God bless your soul Mr. Gopinath...
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      ravi
                                      Jun 3, 2014 at 4:44 am
                                      Now u think they will start fixing the roads and people getting proper licences. It will take india 50 plus years to change india . Or maybe never. india. Boring place
                                      Reply
                                      1. V
                                        vicky khanchandani
                                        Jun 3, 2014 at 8:20 am
                                        may rest in peace
                                        Reply
                                        1. K
                                          kumar
                                          Jun 3, 2014 at 3:37 am
                                          :-(
                                          Reply
                                          1. k
                                            kishor samant-advocate
                                            Jun 3, 2014 at 6:23 am
                                            Highly shocked. Let his soul rest in peace.
                                            Reply
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