mid-day archives: Salman Khan's bodyguard's statement in 2002

Salman Khan's police bodyguard Ravindra Patil gave his side of the story regarding of events that occured on the fateful night. We present an interview taken a few days after the incident in 2002

Actor Salman Khan's police bodyguard Ravindra Patil claims that he does not know how to drive. However, Salman's advocates have claimed in their bail application that it was Patil who was at the wheel at the time of Saturday's accident in which one person was killed and three injured.

At his home in Naigaon yesterday, Constable Patil, of the Special Branch-I (Protection), recounted Friday night's, events.

At 10:30 pm, I escorted Salman Khan, his cousin Kamal Khan and driver, Altaf to the Rain bar and restaurant in Juhu.

Salman and Kamal were inside for a long time. When they finally emerged, Salman seemed quite normal.

We got into the Toyota Land Cruiser and headed for Salman's house in Bandra, with Altaf at the wheel.

Along the way, Salman asked Altaf to stop at the JW Marriott, where Salman went in and returned in 15 minutes. He then took the driver's seat.

Salman was driving at speeds of up to 70 kmph. At around 2.30 am, when we were a few minutes from the accident spot, Salman turned to talk to me.

When he looked back at the road, he realised the Land Cruiser was about to hit an electric pole.

He shouted, “Gadi nahi ghum rahi (The car isn’t turning).” He then lost control of the vehicle and it rammed into the American Express Laundry.

Immediately, a mob of around 50 people gathered near the spot and started pelting the vehicle with stones.

Salman requested the public to listen, but the angry mob kept throwing stones.

Kamal meanwhile escaped in the melee and minutes later Salman got into an auto rickshaw and left.

Patil then contacted the police control room and narrated the happenings.

Within minutes, a wireless van from the Bandra Police Station reached the spot.

It was only when the police crane lifted the car from the spot that they spotted the badly smashed body of the deceased. The injured were rushed to Bhabha Hospital, Bandra.

Patil clarified that he didn’t lodge any FIR (first information report) with Bandra police, but only narrated the happening as per the rules.

The police then made him sign the statement. Patil has been with the Mumbai Police for the past 5 years and the protection department for the past year and the half.

He had provided security to businessmen and film personalities like Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan etc. before being assigned as Salman’s security guard from August 22 in 2002.

Mumbai Police withdrew the protection given to Salman hours after the accident.

To avoid the pole, he swerved right. Suddenly his steering wheel stopped working.

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