Abdulla Sheikh, whose right leg was fractured when he was run over by Salman Khan’s Land Cruiser on September 28, 2002, said on Thursday that he felt cheated.
Abdulla said while he accepted the court’s decision, all the victims and their families should be given more compensation as the accident could not be denied. He said the meagre Rs 1.8 lakh he got by way of compensation was all spent on his medical treatment.
Talking to journalists, Abdulla seemed reluctant to appeal against the high court’s decision in the Supreme Court. “Meri itni hasiyat nahi ki mein saalo saal case ladta rahu. Kuch aur muavja mil jaata toh mere pariwar ki jindagi sudhar jaati (I am a poor man and can’t fight the case for years and years. If I get some more compensation, my family will be able to lead a better life),” he said.
Recalling the incident, Abdulla, who is from Gonda, about 120 km from Lucknow, said he and four other victims – Muslim Sheikh, Mannu, Kalim and Noorullah – were employees of A-1 Bakery at the time.
“Noorullah died while four others, including me, were badly injured when the car drove over us while we were sleeping on the pavement near the bakery,” he said.
Abdulla said doctors inserted a metal rod in his leg but he still could not walk properly, which reduced his capacity to earn money. He is the lone breadwinner in his family of seven, which includes four daughters and a son.
He said the bakery sacked all of them following the incident as the police would to visit the place often to record their statements and the owner wanted to avoid controversy. He said he subsequently got a job with another bakery on a lower salary.
Abdulla has been living in his village in Gonda for the past two months and said he will return to Mumbai soon.
HT tried to contact another victim of the hit-and-run, Gonda resident Muslim Sheikh, but he refused to talk about the issue. The other two surviving victims, Kalim and Mannu, are also from Uttar Pradesh.