Two persons were killed near Kunigal bypass, around 70 km from Bengaluru, in the wee hours of Tuesday after being hit by an SUV, in which CT Ravi, BJP General Secretary and MLA from Chikkamagaluru, was travelling. A case has been registered in Kunigal Police Station under sections 279 (rash driving), 336 (Whoever does any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) and 304A (death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. The MLA also sustained minor injuries. The deceased have been identified as Shashi Gowda and Sunil Gowda, who were part of a group returning from a temple visit.
A policeman attached to Kunigal Police Station told TNM that the speeding SUV, which is believed to be driven by Ravi’s driver, met with the accident at Urkehalli bridge near Kunigal Byepass at 1.45 am. “Two cars - a Swift and Scorpio - were parked on the highway. Two men were shifting some goods between the two cars. It was at this moment that CT Ravi’s car hit both the vehicles and in the process, dragged both the men for around 50 m before screeching to a halt. Both of them died on the spot,” the policeman told TNM.
When the police reached the accident spot, the driver had escaped. CT Ravi, who was also injured in the accident, is currently safe after he was admitted in Bengaluru’s Vikram Hospital for a brief while. He is still suffering from mild chest pain, a statement from BJP said.
The BJP’s state media convenor, S Shantaram, in a statement refuted some media reports that claimed that CT Ravi was behind the wheels in an inebriated state.
The statement said, “With deep regret and pain over the sad demise of the two persons in an accident between two cars, in which CT Ravi was travelling, we wish to clarify the following. After the accident happened near Kunigal, CT Ravi was present at the accident spot till the bodies were removed and the injured were shifted to hospital. He was not driving the car nor he has any drinking habit as reported.”
He added, “He suffered chest injury which was attended by doctors and later discharged. He left the place after SI permitted him to do so and the car was taken over by police for further investigation. He still has mild chest pain and is under rest now.”
Later in a statement, CT Ravi also claimed that he was not the one driving the vehicle.
"The incident, which happened in Kunigal last night, is an unfortunate one. I left for Chikmaggaluru around 9:30pm in the night. I was asleep in the car on the way. My driver Akash was behind the wheel. My gunman Raja Nayak was also present in the car. When the vehicle abruptly halted and the airbags opened up, I woke up and realised something happened. I had immense pain on my body and had scratches in my chest, And when I gained proper consciousness, I realised two people had died. I immediately called for an ambulance. I also tried to call the ambulance three to four times as I was not getting any. I also called the police station and then a sub-inspector, along with an ambulance, reached the spot. After all the procedures were completed, and the bodies were taken away, I came to Vikram Hospital to get treatment for my injuries," he explained