The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Push-ups in prison too for Salman

Jodhpur, April 11: Salman Khan spent last night battling the savage heat of Jodhpur under a lone fan unaware that his mother, traumatised by the news of his being sent to jail, had been hospitalised.

Salman read about his mother, Salma, being taken to Lilavati Hospital the previous night, in the morning newspapers at Jodhpur Central Jail. Treated as any other prisoner, he had a reunion with a convict ' very Bollywoodish ' he had met on October 16, 1998, when he spent the night in the same jail in the same chinkara killing case. Mahesh is serving a life sentence for murder.

Yesterday, the actor was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for shooting the chinkara.

Jail authorities said Salman was given a meal of dal, chapatis and rice, other than the jail staple of chana-gud (grams and jaggery) for breakfast with two cups of tea.

“Salman was wearing a T-shirt and blue shorts. He was up at 4 am to do his exercises,” a jail official said.

It’s not for nothing Salman is called the pint-sized Hercules ' jail or no jail he does his one-handed push-ups. On other days, he might have hopped across to his favourite coffee shop at Bandra’s Bandstand next.

Although that was not to be, the jail authorities allowed younger brother Sohail and sister Alvira to meet him before 3 pm. Visitors are allowed only between 3 and 5 pm.

They flew into Jodhpur this afternoon with Salman’s bodyguard Shera, producer Afzal Khan, director Rumi Jaffrey, and lawyer Dipesh Mehta. Afzal’s God Tussi Great Ho is one of the five Salman films pending release. Sohail, who spent Monday night at Lilavati Hospital, told Salman about their mother’s condition.

“He (Salman) looked composed throughout the meeting. The family had not told him about his mother’s hospitalisation. He got to know about it only through newspapers,” Mehta said.

The lawyer, who described the meeting as “personal”, obtained the actor’s signature on some legal documents. Mehta said he would appeal against Salman’s sentence before a sessions court tomorrow.

Today, they could not approach the courts for bail because of a holiday. “He has faith in the Indian judiciary,” Mehta said.

Three other cases against Salman are expected to come up for hearing tomorrow. In one, the Rajasthan forest department has accused Salman of killing two black bucks in 1998. He also stands accused of using weapons whose licences had expired. A third hearing is scheduled in a hit-and-run case in Mumbai.

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