The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The day after, Ash in accident
- Actress hurt while shooting for Khaki, declared safe by doctors

Mumbai, April 2: The script has taken a cruel turn.

Vivek Oberoi didn’t go to police, as threatened; Salman Khan smirked and flew off to London. But Aishwarya Rai met with an accident.

India’s collective heart skipped a beat when news broke of filmdom’s reigning queen being hit by a jeep during shooting. Aishwarya is safe, doctors who treated her said.

A day after Vivek went public with the allegation that Salman had made 41 calls in one night threatening to kill him if he didn’t lay off Aishwarya — two other actresses were also named — the star was shooting near Nashik when the accident occurred.

In the sequence for the film Khaki, directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, a jeep was supposed to swerve near — not close to — her but lost control and bumped into her. Preliminary reports coming in from those close to her say Aishwarya was hurt on her right arm and waist.

She was rushed to a hospital in Nashik from Trimbakeshwar, where the accident occurred around 6 pm. Doctors attending on her were inundated with calls asking after her condition. Dr Vijay Kakatkar, the first to look at her injuries, said the actress was “not grievously hurt and is out of danger”.

Keshu Ramsay, producer of Khaki, added that there is nothing to worry. “There was some mud on the road, which was not accounted for,” Ramsay said. The gravel caused the jeep to skid and hurtle towards Aishwarya.

“But we would like to say here that the nature of her injuries is not serious and she will be up soon,” Ramsay said.

Reports coming in late said the actress was flown by helicopter to Mumbai and admitted to Leelavati Hospital.

Earlier in the day, Aishwarya had refused to answer calls asking for her reaction to the Vivek-Salman confrontation. Vivek called a news conference yesterday to say that Salman had “lost his mind” and seemed to be upset about rumours that linked Aishwarya to him. “I can say for sure that Aishwarya has left the chapter behind but Salman doesn’t seem to have got over it,” Vivek had said, referring to the relationship the two had.

Vivek, however, shied away from lodging a written complaint with Juhu police, prompting an officer to say that Salman could come back from London, “turn the tables on Vivek and drag him to court for defamation”.

He was believed to have been held back by his father Suresh Oberoi, also an actor. Friendly with Salman’s scriptwriter father Salim Khan, Oberoi senior is not happy with the way Vivek has handled the situation.

Salim Khan may, in fact, take the initiative to broker peace between his son and Vivek.

Salman’s brother Arbaaz, however, reacted strongly. “Salman is a bigger star than Vivek, unlike what he would have people believe.” Vivek is “no one to comment on what kind of mental condition my brother is in,” he said.

Before leaving for London to shoot for Baghban, Salman denied that he had called Vivek 41 times on his mobile phone. “You can check with BPL (the service provider),” Salman said.

He also dismissed having accused Vivek of having affairs with a number of heroines. Salman’s secretary said he may make a statement after returning on April 10.

Salman was apparently surprised that Vivek called a news conference instead of coming over or discussing the matter with his brothers, Arbaaz and Sohail, who are Vivek’s friends.

Although Vivek is yet to file a complaint, officers of Crime Branch, Unit IX, met Vivek late last evening for a preliminary inquiry. Vivek also informed sub-inspector Sunil Deshmukh of Juhu police station about the alleged threats from Salman. Deshmukh confirmed this, but said he advised Vivek to file a complaint.

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