| Salman Khan on way to the court. (Reuters)
Mumbai, Oct. 8: How the mighty fall!
After spending Rs 7,000 on drinks alone at an uptown disco on September 28, just before he crushed one to death and sent four others to hospital, Salman Khan last night slept on the floor of a police lock-up.
He was not allowed home food, so he slept hungry and thirsty, sharing his cramped cell with 16 other inmates, mostly pickpockets and petty criminals.
“Salman spent the three hours that he was at the (Santa Cruz) lock-up mostly in silence,” a police official said. “The other inmates didn’t speak to him and he was quiet, too. They (the inmates) got a whiff why he was here but nobody bothered him. He didn’t eat or drink anything while he was here.’’
“There is no provision for home food as Salman’s lawyer has not made a request for it,” joint commissioner of police (law and order) Javed Ahmed said. “The actor will be accorded the same kind of treatment as any ordinary inmate.”
A crime branch official said Salman would have to make do with “dal, roti and some chawal. Nothing special for him here.”
Late in the night, Salman was shifted to the crime branch cell at Crawford Market. It was the third time in the evening he was moved from one place of incarceration to another — from the Bandra lock-up to Santa Cruz and then to Crawford Market — for “security reasons”.
Throughout the day today, Salman was questioned by the police about the Toyota Land Cruiser he was driving at the time of the accident. After announcing that the vehicle did not belong to him, the police have not been able to trace the real owner. Today they questioned him on the mode of payment made for the vehicle and the place of purchase.
Salman, sources say, was also asked if the underworld was in any way involved in the purchase or gift of the vehicle.
A police source said the owner of the car does not live at the Mahim address Salman gave first. Nor were the police able to get Mohammad Abdul Rahim, under whose name the vehicle is registered, at the Kasargod (Kerala) district address.
“Both the addresses have turned out to be fake,” a senior officer said, adding that Salman could get into deeper trouble if he was found possessing “benami” property.
Making any quick escape route impossible for the actor — booked under Section 304 of the IPC, a non-bailable offence — the police now say he, along with Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Mahesh Manjrekar and Rakesh Roshan, will be questioned as witnesses in the Bharat Shah case.
The public prosecutor in the case, Rohini Salian, today submitted a schedule of witnesses, in which these names appear, to designated judge A.P. Bhangale.
The Bharat Shah case deals with the Bollywood-mafia nexus.