Bhatti’s son Jasraj, who was driving the car and actress Surilie Gautam, the heroine of his upcoming film ‘Power Cut’ and film promoter Navneet Joshi were injured in the mishap, police said.
The 57-year-old actor-director, who became popular with his satirical shows during the golden days of Doordarshan, was on a tour to promote the film when the accident took place near Shahkot in Nakodar area of the district at 2:30 AM, Bhatti’s associate Vinod Sharma told PTI here.
They were rushed to a private hospital in Jalandhar where Bhatti, who suffered serious head injuries, was declared brought dead. Bhatti is survived by wife Savita, a son and daughter Raabiya.
Sharma said that Bhatti was going to Jalandhar from Bhatinda for the promotion of his Punjabi film which is based on the frequent power cuts in Punjab. Bhatti was scheduled to address a press conference in Jalandhar today to promote the film, which releases tomorrow.
Jasraj, Joshi and Gautam, who is the sister of ‘Vicky Donar’ star Yami Gautam, have been referred to a Ludhiana hospital now and according to doctors, their condition is stable.
Born on March 3, 1955 at Amritsar, Bhatti graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh as an electrical engineer. He became popular in his college days for his street plays. Before venturing into TV, Bhatti was a cartoonist for The Tribune newspaper in Chandigarh.
Hit shows ‘Ulta Pulta’ and ‘Flop Show’ on Doordarshan introduced Bhatti’s brand of comedy to the pan-Indian audience. Remembered even today, the shows poked fun at the socio-political situations of the Indian society.
Bhatti’s satire on the Punjab police ‘Mahaul Theek Hai’ in 1998 was his first directorial venture in Punjabi language. He also acted in many films including Salman Khan stareer ‘Janam Samjha Karo’ and Aamir Khan starrer ‘Fanaa’.
Reacting to Bhatti’s death, Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said that he will always be remembered for his portrayal of the problems of the common man.
“He truly pioneered the comedy content on TV especially through Doordarshan. His TV shows left a deep imprint on the minds of the common people. He always regaled the
people with his subtle, quiet and honest humour. I pray to God that the family gathers the strength to overcome this untimely crisis,” Soni said.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described Bhatti as a multi-facet personality and a true son of soil. Actor Anupam Kher said, “Just Landed in Mumbai and came to know about my friend Jaspal Bhatti’s tragic death. Why is God taking away all the nicest people. So SAD.”
Actor Akshay Kumar recalled memories of Bhatti’s hit TV series ‘Flop Show’.
“Saddened to know about the death of the great comedian, Jaspal Bhatti. I have fond memories of his super hit show, Flop Show, providing the much needed humour in our lives. May his soul rest in peace,” said Kumar. Actor Jimmy Sheirgill said, “Received another shockingly terrible news of the demise of Jaspal Bhatti saab today… I don’t know what’s hapenning.. so sad… RIP.”