The area outside and around Galaxy Apartments in Bandra, where actor Salman Khan stays with his family, was crowded with hundreds of fans and well-wishers on Wednesday morning, some of whom had gathered from Tuesday afternoon and stayed till Salman reached home Wednesday evening.
The crowd went through a plethora of emotions, starting with hope, which changed into shock and disbelief once news of the verdict reached them, and ultimately a small measure of relief when Khan got bail.
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Qari Harun Khan, who works at Bandra’s Mehboob studio and is closely acquainted with Khan, described him as a ‘great human being’. “I first met him 20 years ago at the Mehboob studio. Salman has a golden heart. He is a messiah for the poor, needy and disabled. He provides them medicines, clothing, food and shelter. He has helped numerous friends of mine. I pray that he is set free,” said Harun on Wednesday morning.
“The charge of culpable homicide is too harsh since he didn’t intend to kill anyone. It was a mistake, albeit drinking and driving was an offence. I am a follower of his on Twitter, and every year, I have been writing letters to him on his birthday. I pray that justice prevails,” said Debdatta Sengupta, a student of journalism.
The sentiment was echoed by hundreds of other fans. Scores of fans were moved to tears, while others were stunned or angry after the conviction. Several film and television personalities also turned up at Khan’s residence after the conviction was
announced in order to show their support and solidarity.
“It’s a 17-year imprisonment and not a five year sentence. Twelve years have passed. We are human beings and we all make mistakes. Salman has so much goodness in him that it nullifies the bad. He is not a hardcore criminal, he is a good citizen. He donates in such a manner that the left hand doesn’t even know that the right hand has done charity. A very significant witness was missing in the court, his name is Kamaal Khan, so when the appeal is made to the higher court, Kamaal’s statement might turn the tables,” claimed actor Raza Murad.
Actors Nasir Abdullah, Ashish Choudhury and Dheeraj Kumar also reached the Khan residence later on Wednesday. “It would be really sad, especially for his 75-year-old father Salim and his mother Salma to see their son go to jail. I hope Salman is set free. In fact the law could let him be out making it mandatory for him to create a trust instead and support the helpless children with shoes, books and meals. But this should be a 24X7 dedicated institute,” said Abdullah.