The spotlight was firmly on Salman Khan as the actor’s plea of suspension of his five-year sentence was being heard by the High Court, but 32-year-old Gaurang Kundu sought to use the occasion to get his 15 seconds of fame yesterday.
Bailhouse rock Jubilant fans break into impromptu jigs outside Salman Khan's residence, Galaxy, in Bandra as news of his sentence getting suspended trickles in. Pics/Nimesh Dave
With a huge media contingent gathered outside the court, Kundu proclaimed that Salman was like a god for him and that he should be allowed to serve the prison sentence in place of the actor. Kundu then went on to attempt suicide by consuming rat poison and was whisked away to a hospital immediately by the police. His condition is said to be stable.
Before he consumed the poison around 11.30 am, Kundu, a father of two from the Bharat Nagar slums in Bandra, spoke to several mediapersons and distributed pamphlets that read, ‘Salmanji ko bhagwan ka darja diya hoon, aur unke pariwar ko devi devta ka darja diya hoon, Mai apne aap ko us pariwar ka ek sadasya samajhta hoon.
Gaurang Kundu being rushed to the hospital after consuming poison. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Mai Bharat sarkar se request karta hoon ki jo saja Salmanji ko diya jaa raha hai, wo saja mujhe mil jaye, taaki jo hamare gareebo ka sahara hai, unpe koi aanch naa aaye aur wo gareebo ka masiha bane.’ (Salman is like god for me and his family members are also gods and goddesses.
Fans mob the actor's car to get a glimpse of him as he leaves his house to go to the Sessions Court to apply for bail. Pic/Rane Ashish
I consider myself a member of his family. Salman is a helper of the poor and I request the Indian government to punish me instead of him so that he can go on to become the messiah of the poor.) Kundu’s pamphlets also contained a history of his life.
He claimed to be have been orphaned at the age of eight and to have lived a life of poverty ever since. He said he wished to be a writer to be able to tell the world about his struggles. Kundu said that Salman had appeared in his dreams once and offered to make a film on his story and he had begun giving the actor the status of a god since then.
Minutes after he consumed the poison, Kundu was rushed to G T Hospital in Fort in a police van. He reached the hospital around noon and doctors began treating him immediately. Kundu’s condition is said to be stable now. “He was brought to the hospital and our doctors started treatment immediately.
His stomach was cleansed of the poison and the sample has been sent for chemical analysis,” said Dr D R Kulkarni, superintendent, G T Hospital. “We have the bottle of rat poison that he consumed. It is a small bottle and can’t hold more than 30-50ml,” said Inspector Kantilal Kothimdire of Azad Maidan Police Station.
Read the Salman-saga here