Famous comedian, actor and satirist Jaspal Bhatti died when the car he was travelling in hit a tree on the outskirts of Shahkot in Jalandhar district in the wee hours on Thursday.
Bhattiâ€™s son Jasraj, who was driving the Honda Accord, actress Surilie Gautam â€” the heroine of his upcoming film Power Cut â€” and film promoter Navneet Joshi were injured in the mishap. The accident took place around 3 am while 57-year-old Bhatti was on his way to Jalandhar from Bathinda where he was set to launch the music of the movie, which is based on the frequent powercuts in Punjab.
Bhatti was sitting on the rear seat of the car and received fatal head injuries. According to sources in the police, Jasraj was either sleeping or could not notice the turn as car hit the tree. â€śJasraj told the police that he was very tired, as he was working for the promotion of his film and while driving, he fell asleep,â€ť a police source said.
While Jasraj, Gautam were sitting on the front seats and sustained minor injuries, Bhatti and Navneet were sitting on the rear seat. The injured were being rushed to Orthonova Hospital in Jalandhar when Bhatti died on the way. The injured were later shifted to DMC Hospital in Ludhiana.
Bhattiâ€™s body was shifted to Civil Hospital in Jalandhar for postmortem examination, following which, it was handed over to his relatives, who took it to Chandigarh for cremation. In the evening, his remains were consigned to flames by Jasraj.
Prominent among those who attended the cremation included Haryana Chief Minister B S Hooda, Punjab minister A P Singh Kairon, Punjab chief ministerâ€™s media advisor Harcharan Singh Bains and artistes from Punjabi film fraternity like Gurdas Mann, Jasbir Jassi, Mehar Mittal and Gurpreet Ghuggi.
Bhatti was on tour for the last one month to promote his movie, which was to be released on Friday. The tour was to end on Thursday with a press conference in Jalandhar. Bhatti had not only produced and directed movie but also launched Jasraj. Interestingly, the invite sent to the media for Thursdayâ€™s press conference read â€śPirated music launch scoop by Jaspal Bhatti of his new movie Power Cutâ€ť.
Bhattiâ€™s popular shows Ulta-Pulta and Flop Show had hit the screen in the 1980s and 1990s. He had also directed a film called Mahaul Theek Hai â€” a satire on the police. Bhatti, perhaps the most famous Sikh comedian, was also a brand ambassador for Punjabâ€™s electoral poll revision.