Salman Khan spends second night in Jodhpur jail as he waits for bail, all quiet in Bollywood
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan spent a second night in Jodhpur Central Jail after the judge hearing his bail plea adjourned the matter for Saturday. Khan was on Thursday convicted of killing two blackbucks, an endangered species of the antelope, and sentenced to five years in jail.
Both the prosecution and defence lawyers completed their arguments in court on Saturday morning and the judge is expected to pronounce his order post lunch.
On day one, the actor, who is prisoner No. 106, had several visitors in jail, including actor Preity Zinta and his sisters.
However, most of Khan’s Bollywood colleagues kept a low profile and were cautiously sympathetic towards the actor, arguably the industry’s most saleable star.
Among those who did voice support were director Subhash Ghai, actor-politicians Jaya Bachchan and Raj Babbar, and actor Varun Dhawan.
Saif Ali Khan, who was acquitted in the case, and Shatrughan Sinha with wife Poonam and daughter Sonakshi called on the family. Ramesh Taurani, producer of ‘Race 3’, which is still under production, and ex sister-in-law Malaika Arora also visited the family at their Galaxy Apartments home in Mumbai.
Filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala, a close friend of Salman, cancelled the success party of his latest release ‘Baaghi 2’ and left for Jodhpur soon after the verdict.
But most big stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar, known for articulating their views and are active on social media, stayed quiet.
This is Salman’s fifth stint in jail, on charges such as poaching and killing a pedestrian in a hit-and-run case in 2002 in Mumbai.
Co-accused in case silent
Actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam Kothari and Sonali Bendre, who were also accused in the case for abetment, have yet to comment on Salman’s conviction.
The trial court acquitted the actors, and a local Dushyant Singh, on grounds of giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Neelam’s husband Samir Soni told PTI after the verdict, “I am happy for Neelam and the rest. I don’t know why Salman was singled out. It seems his celebrity status has come in the way.”
Others from the industry were cautiously sympathetic.
“I hope he gets justice in the coming times. I am sure, he is a strong man and people’s good wishes are with him which will help him overcome the difficult times... It is my personal experience that Salman Khan is a good human being and has done a lop of philanthropic work for the welfare of people, irrespective of caste or community,” Raj Babbar had said.
“I am extremely shocked,” film director Ghai said, adding that he had “full trust in the Indian judiciary which has many other doors” for an “appeal for final justice”.
Jaya Bachchan said the punishment was harsh, and added that Khan had done “a lot of humanitarian work”.
Actor Varun Dhawan, who was in Delhi to promote his upcoming film ‘October’, tweeted: “I know for a fact that Salman bhai and his family have the utmost respect and faith in our judiciary system. Salman Khan is one of the strongest and most genuine people I know and I’m sure he will come out of this stronger.”
(With PTI inputs from Mumbai)