Relatives of victims of the 2002 hit-and-run accident say they no longer care much about whether Bollywood actor Salman Khan is punished or not, but are more concerned about compensation, which they claim will help them better the condition of their lives.
Feroz Sarif, son of Nurullah Mehboob Sharif, who died in the accident, said he does not believe Khan should be punished. “My father died a long time ago. If Khan is punished, his family will suffer. He should be set free. But I would like to get the compensation that the court ordered the actor to pay, which we did not get,” he said. Sarif said he is yet to receive the sum of Rs 10 lakh that the court had ordered he be paid.
“Thirteen years have gone by. My mother had to work as a maid after the accident, which took place when I was just 12 years old,” he said. “These days, I work as a labourer and do not have any fixed employment. It’s hard for me to support my mother, wife and two children.”
Sarif and his mother used to live in Vile Parle when the accident took place. Nurullah would usually not come home every night, as he worked late. He would often sleep at the bakery.
Similarly, 22-year-old Ayub Khan, whose father Mannu Khan was injured in the accident, seemed least concerned about the judgment delivered in the case. “The quantum of punishment granted to the actor does not make any difference to us. I was five years old when my father suffered the injury in the accident. My father spent several days in hospital,” said Ayub, speaking to HT on the phone from Uttar Pradesh, his native state, where he has gone for his wedding.
“Considering how we suffered and the pain my father suffered, the punishment granted by court to Salman Khan will not help us. We are only concerned about the compensation,” said Ayub.
Mannu Khan, who worked in A-1 bakery and was sleeping on the footpath on the night of the accident, said Ayub was five-years-old then. The family now lives in Chirag Nagar area in Ghatkopar. Mannu and Ayub both work in a bakery.
Recently, Mannu went to his native place at Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh, for the wedding of his daughter and son.