A sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday found Bollywood star Salman Khan guilty of killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run crash reportedly after a night out drinking. Khan was accused of running over five persons sleeping on a pavement outside a bakery in Bandra in his white Toyota Land Cruiser early on September 28, 2002, killing one and injuring four.The judge has pronounced the verdict in the wake of the account provided by a witness named Francis Fernandes.
The 63-year-old Francis Fernandes is Salman Khan’s neighbour in Bandra and lives near the site of the accident. He had told the court in May, 2014 that when he reached the spot he saw Salman Khan surrounded by a mob.
Popularly called ‘Commander’ among his peers, Fernandes had earlier narrated the sequence of events of that night to a TV channel: "At about 2.30am I was awake, a kitten was disturbing me and I was petting her. Then, I heard a noise (bang). After a few minutes, I heard someone screaming help, help! I left my house in shorts. I thought someone was hitting a foreigner. I called people for help."
He further said, “There were a lot of stones. Then Salman Khan recognised me. There was another man with him. As soon as he recognised me, he said commander help me. I said everything is under control. Come on let's go, I'll take you home. I took him right up to the paan shop. Then my wife came. We put him inside the car and took him away.”
Read:Salman Khan convicted under culpable homicide in 2002 hit-and-run case