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Sallu's miserable night in jail

Salman Khan may be Jodhpur jail's most famous inmate, but he didn't get the usual VIP treatment that Bollywood stars are accustomed to. He was not allowed to call his ailing mother.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 15:28 IST

Salman Khan may be Jodhpur jail's most famous inmate, but he didn't get the usual VIP treatment that Bollywood stars are accustomed to.

Khan, who was sentenced to five years in prison for poaching a rare buck in a desert wildlife preserve, was dealt with like any other inmate, prison director M. L. Chauhan said Tuesday.

"There was no special treatment," Chauhan told reporters outside the jail, a day after a court in Jodhpur, in western India, handed down the verdict.

Khan was fed plain flat bread, vegetable curry and given an earthenware jar of water, like all the other prisoners, Chauhan said.

He was not even allowed to phone his mother Salma, who collapsed and was hospitalized after the verdict, Chauhan said. "We did not allow him (to call), not as a humane service, not as a VIP. Mobiles (phones) are not permitted," he said.
Khan's mother was under observation in Bombay's Lilavati hospital after she complained of chest pains, the hospital said. The only concession Khan received was a cell to himself to guarantee his safety, Chauhan said.

Still, that's something in Indian jails, which are notoriously overcrowded with very basic amenities.

Khan will have to spend at least one more night in prison before his lawyers can apply for bail as the courts were closed for two days for local holidays.

Khan has faced several separate charges of poaching and illegal possession of weapons stemming from the incident, when he and several other people allegedly drove into the Thar desert to shoot deer while on a break from filming.

Khan has denied the charges.

Khan, a Bollywood heartthrob, has starred in scores of Hindi-language films, often portraying macho yet romantic characters who fight for love.

Khan is also on trial in a separate case in Bombay for a traffic accident that killed a man in 2002. Three people were injured and one killed when Khan allegedly hit a group of people sleeping on a Bombay sidewalk.