The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhujbal tightens screws on Salman

Mumbai, Oct. 2: Deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the alcohol found in Salman Khan’s blood after his car ran over and killed a person was twice the permissible amount, even as police today started the inquiry into the case at his instance.

“The medical test has proved Salman Khan consumed alcohol double the permissible limit while driving,” said Bhujbal, who is also the home minister.

The police have already recorded a number of important statements, the minister said. “The police have the recorded statements of several people present at a pub and a five star hotel when Salman Khan visited these places on Friday night,” Bhujbal added.

The Bollywood heartthrob had spent the evening at a pub, after which he had dropped in at a five-star hotel. While returning home around 2.30 am, his car ran over five persons sleeping on a pavement, killing one of them.

Bhujbal said the inquiry which started today could take a week. He added that it would only be clear after the inquiry findings whether a new chargesheet against Khan would be filed.

Khan, who surrendered on Saturday several hours after the accident, was charged with reckless driving and released on a bail of Rs 950.

This led to protests that the police were being soft on Khan.

Bhujbal stepped in to order the high-level police probe, which was looking into the delayed arrest of the actor and the paltry bail amount.

The probe would also investigate why the alcohol test was conducted on Khan about 12 hours after the accident.

The police declined to comment, but there is talk that Khan may be charged with culpable homicide after the inquiry.

Bhujbal said Khan’s car, a Toyota Landcruiser, was “faultless” and could not be held responsible for the accident.

The minister also cleared the case of R. Patil, the police bodyguard provided to Khan. “He would always tell Salman Khan not to drive at such speed,” the minister said.

The police today demanded that the actor’s driving licence be suspended. Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Javed Ahmed, who is in charge of the inquiry, said the police has written to the Regional Transport Authority to suspend the actor’s licence.

Ahmed visited the accident site today. The actor’s car had run into a laundry, causing considerable damage to the structure.

The police is yet to record the statement of singer Kamaal Khan, who is also Salman’s cousin and was with him at the time of the accident.

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