'If he feels for us, Salman will give us something'
Since losing his father in the 2002 accident, Firoz Khan says he has tried hard to meet the star, to tell him what they have gone through since, and get compensation, but failed
Salman Khan may not undergo any punishment following his acquittal in the hit-and-run case, but the family of Nurullah Sharif, who died in the incident, has certainly been paying for someone’s action.
Firoz Khan said the acquittal was meaningless for him
All his son wants is for the superstar to know the hardships they have gone through since the accident, and some financial help from him. Like the large-hearted Prem, played by Salman on screen, Firoz Khan has accepted what happened as a mistake.
A police official examines a spot outside American Express Cleaners where the accident occurred in 2002
What he does not know is that Salman had deposited money for compensation with the High Court, but it never reached their family. “Galti sabse hoti hai, jaan bujhke koi nahi karta,” (Anyone can make a mistake, no one does something like this on purpose), said Firoz, who is a labourer.
His father Nurullah Sharif lost his life on September 28, 2002, when Salman Khan’s Land Cruiser rammed into a bakery in Bandra, killing him and injuring four who were sleeping outside it. Firoz stays at Malwani with his mother, wife, and two children.
Of punishment for the man who has ironically played a Good Samaritan who even goes to Pakistan to help a lost girl, he said, “Mujhe saja se koi matlab nahi.” (I am not bothered about the sentence). But Firoz said it would be good for him if he receives some compensation from Salman.
He said that he had tried meeting Salman for many years in the past, he even tried to contact him but failed. He wanted to meet Salman to tell him what they went through after the incident.
He also expected some help from Salman as he was responsible for the death of his father. “Jo humko taklif mili hai humare Abbu ke jaane ke baad, kya baataye ab saja ka kya matlab,” he said. (We have suffered so much after losing my father, the sentence has no meaning.)
On what Firoz is expecting next he said, “Naseeb mein hai to thik hai, nahi to mehnat karke kha rahe hai aur aage bhi aise he khayenge.” (If it’s in our fate — compensation — it’s alright, otherwise we have been working hard to earn a livelihood and will do so).
Firoz spoke about how his father would only visit them and stayed away to earn a livelihood. “My father was our family's sole bread earner. He used to stay at the bakery and visited us once in a fortnight. He along with his colleagues used to sleep on the footpath because there was no other place where they could rest. In Mumbai, workers like my father sleep on the footpath,” he said.
Two families lost breadwinner
Firoz said after he lost his father, his mother raised him with lot of difficulties. She began to work in houses as a maid to bring him up. He also said that the injured received compensation. “We have not received a single paisa as compensation. When my father was there he used to look after the whole family including my uncle’s family,” he said.
On the acquittal he said, “Abhi koi matlab nahi banta magar uske dil mein kuch hoga toh kuch dega.” (Now it is meaningless, but if he (Salman) feels for us he will give us something.) And yet, asked if he is a Salman Khan fan, he replied in the positive.
Salman had paid the compensation
The actor surrendered again before the Bandra police on October 7, 2002 and was arrested. The High Court, while hearing a PIL, had directed Salman to pay Rs 19 lakh as compensation within two weeks. This included Rs 10 lakh to the family of Nurullah Mehboob Sharif, who died in the accident. Salman deposited the money with the High Court, but it never reached Nurullah’s kin.
Read more stories on the 2002 hit-and-run case