Jaspal Bhatti killed in car accident

Jaspal Bhatti killed in car accident

Satirist Jaspal Bhatti (57), known for his satirical presentation of the common man’s woes, died in a road accident on the outskirts of Jalandhar district early Thursday.

Bhatti’s son, Jasraj, actor Sureeli Gautam and two others were injured. On Friday, his Punjabi film “Power Cut”, his son’s debut film directed and produced by Bhatti, is to be released. Sureeli was one of the leads in the film.

Jasraj was driving a sedan which rammed into a tree after 1:20 am. Bhatti, sitting in the rear, died of serious head injuries on way to hospital.

Police said Jasraj may have erred in manoeuvring a sharp turn or may have dozed off. The police said Jasraj told them that he was exhausted after the hectic promotional schedule of his upcoming film and while driving he perhaps lost control after dozzing off. Bhatti’s media advisor Navneet Joshi,  brother of Punjab BJP youth leader Vineet Joshi, was also seriously injured in the accident.

Bhatti is survived by his wife Savitha, a son and daughter Raabiya. Savita had acted in many of Bhatti’s TV serials.

Born in 1955 in Amritsar, Bhatti did his mechanical engineering from the reputed Panjab Engineering College (PEC) in Chandigarh. For some time he worked as a front page political cartoonist with a leading English daily published from Chandigarh.

Jaspal Bhatti’s shows “Ulta-Pulta” and “Flop Show” were great hits among people in the 1980s and 1990s. He also directed a film “Mahaul Theek Hai”, a satire on the police.

He also played significant roles, essentially as a comic character, in several Hindi films.  He was also a brand ambassador for Punjab’s electoral poll revision drive.

Bhatti’s thought-provoking satires on television and on streets had earned him a direct connect with the “aam aadmi.”  During the previous Raksha Bandhan, Bhatti had gifted his sisters a box of vegetables in an attempt to highlight rising food prices and inflation.

Often, on seamless Chandigarh roads, Bhatti chose to ride a bullock cart whenever petrol prices went up.

In typical Bhatti style, the press conference invite for the music launch of his film received by media persons on Wednesday read: “Pirated music launch scoop by Jaspal Bhatti of his new movie Power Cut.”

A sea of emotions spilled over at Bhatti’s residence in Chandigarh. Friends, relatives and fans visited his house to express grief.  “It’s hard to believe that Jaspal Bhatti is no more,” acclaimed Punjabi comic artist Chacha Rauniki Ram said.

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