A large number of fans gathered outside the home of Bollywood star Salman Khan to express solidarity after he was given a five-year jail term on Wednesday for killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run crash nearly 13 years ago.
Children, entire families and educated professionals were among the people who braved the Mumbai heat and converged on the 49-year-old actor’s home at Galaxy Apartments in Bandra, hoping that he might come there before being sent to jail.
Officials had anticipated such a move by Khan’s fans and more policemen were posted in the area. As the gathering was peaceful, the policemen stood by and looked on.
Once Khan was convicted by the court, the mood outside Galaxy Apartments turned sombre. More policemen were rushed to the spot to maintain order.
Khan’s old friend Sangeeta Bijlani was among the first people to come to his house as news spread that the star’s mother Salma had taken ill on learning of her son’s conviction. Other friends such Sonakshi Sinha, Preity Zinta, Raza Murad and Prem Chopra made their way to meet Salim and Salma Khan.
Ace photographer Atul Kasbekar and Nikitin Dheer, Khan’s co-star in Ready, also showed up to express support.
Several contestants from reality shows hosted by Khan, such as Niketan Madhok and Satosh Shukla, too were spotted entering the building.
Khan’s brother Sohail returned home from the court while his sisters Alivira and Arpita remained in the sessions court with the star.
Before Khan set off for the court in the morning, rows and rows of journalists and TV cameramen lined up outside Galaxy Apartments.
The first person to walk out of the building was his father, Salim Khan, who went for his usual morning walk. The only difference this time round was that Salim was ringed by a battery of bodyguards to stave off the media.
The crowd was large enough to cause a traffic snarl that was cleared by the policemen. There were also moments when some fans and journalists tried to climb the wall of the apartment complex to make their way towards Khan’s house, which caused problems for others staying in the building.
A few minutes before Khan left for the court, his siblings Sohail, Arbaaz, Alvira and Arpita emerged from the building with Baba Siddiqui. Khan came out a few moments later with his parents Salim and Salma Khan. He hugged his parents and left.
Last night Shah Rukh Khan, David Dhawan and Sajid Nadiadwala made their way to meet Salman.