Union minister Shripad Naik injured, wife killed in car accident in Karnataka

PANAJI: Union minister Shripad Naik was injured, while his wife and an aide died in a road accident in adjoining Karnataka on Monday, an official said.

Naik’s wife Vijaya and the aide were travelling with the minister when their car met with an accident near Ankola in Uttar Kannada district, while he was returning to his home state Goa from Dharmasthala in Karnataka.

Naik (68) was brought to Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) near Panaji around 11.10 pm in a critical condition, sources said.

In Bengaluru, the Karnataka police said Naik, along with his wife, personal assistant Deepak, his close confidante Sai Kiran, gunman and the driver were heading from Yallapur to Gokarna on Monday night.

On the way, the driver lost his control over the car near Hosakambi village in Ankola Taluk of Uttara Kannada and the vehicle overturned, they said.

“It was not a collision between vehicles.Prima facie it appears to be the case of the driver losing control of the car,” a police officer told PTI in Bengaluru.

Naiks wife was brought dead to the hospital in Karnataka, while his personal assistant succumbed to injuries at the medical facility, the sources in Panaji said.

The sources said the Union Minister of State for AYUSH’s car skidded and rammed into a roadside tree.

All the occupants, including the driver, were taken out of the wreckage of the car, which was badly damaged.

Visuals from the site showed Naik being shifted in an ambulance in an unconscious state.

As the ambulance entered Goa, the state police escorted it to the GMCH.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant arrived at the GMCH before the ambulance reached the government-run hospital where medical specialists were ready to treat Naik, who is also the junior defence minister.

After holding preliminary discussions with doctors, including Dean of GMCH Dr Shivanand Bandekar, Sawant took the physicians in his car to the ambulance, which was on the way to the hospital, for providing immediate attention to Naik.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Sawant and asked him to ensure proper medical treatment for the minister, the sources said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Sawant about speedy medical treatment to the BJP MP from North Goa.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa condoled the demise of Naik’s wife and conveyed his wishes for Naik’s speedy recovery.

In Panaji, Goa BJP President Sadanand Tanavade, General Secretary Satish Dhond and other party office-bearers gathered at the GMCH to enquire about Naik’s condition.