Mohammad Kalim and four other men were sleeping on the pavement outside the America Express Bakery in Bandra West, when actor Salman Khan’s Toyota Land Cruiser ran them over on September 28, 2002. Mr Kalim then in his 20s, was injured; his friend Nurullah, died.
“The verdict changes nothing for me,” he said in Asroga village, Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh as a Mumbai judge convicted Salman Khan today, holding him guilty of being drunk and driving the car when it hit the sleeping men 13 years ago.
Mr Kalim said he was injured on his hand, legs and back. “A year later I left Bombay and came back to the village as I couldn’t work properly,” he said, adding that he can only stand for a short time.
He received Rs. 1.5 lakhs as compensation then, which he says was spent on medical expenses. “If we don’t get compensation, whether Salman Khan gets acquitted or convicted how does it matter to me?” He said.
Last May, Mr Kalim and three others had testified in court that after the car hit them, a drunk Salman Khan had gotten out of the driver’s seat of the Land Cruiser, while his bodyguard got off from the other side. They told court that while people rushed to rescue Mr Kalim and the others trapped under the car, Salman Khan fled the scene.
The judge today told Salman Khan, “You were driving the car, without a licence and you were under the influence of alcohol.” Salman had told the court that his driver Ashok Singh was driving the car, which the judge said today was “not probable.”
The court also held today that Nurullah died in the crash and not during an operation to move the car, as alleged by Salman Khan’s lawyers.