Salman’s Driver in Hit and Run
When it comes to celebrity justice, the long arm of the law has a lengthy and cherished tradition of slipping on the velvet glove. Right now in India, attention is focused on Salman Khan and family who have been connected to the death of a 70-year old homeless woman.
According to the Times of India (TOI), Chandra Bala died after being knocked down by a Lexus SUV owned by Arbaaz Khan, Salman’s brother and producer of the hit movie Dabangg.
The incident occurred Sunday, July 1st around 11pm. None of the Khan family were in the vehicle. The driver was the Khans’ 46-year-old chauffeur, Dhananjay Pimpale, who was en route from Salman’s residence in Bandra to the home of another family member.
Although the victim was rushed to the hospital by a policeman and some good samaritans who happened to be in the vicinity, she was unable to recover.
Subsequent TOI articles reported that Pimpale told police he was unaware the woman had been hit and only realized something was wrong when people started screaming. He sped away from the scene, fearing the crowd’s wraith but turned himself in a couple hours later. He was charged with negligence resulting in death and subject to medical tests, which indicated alcohol was not a factor. Pimpale was freed on bail after appearing in court.
Salman staunchly defended the family driver in statement to the Press made from his home on Monday. The accident happened by mistake,” Salman told reporters. “I spoke to my driver and he said when he was driving, he saw something like a black polythene bag on the road, but it was the lady who was completely in black. I would request everyone not to sleep on the road.”
Initial feedback from the public through various online channels has shown disbelief and rage at how laughably lax the law appears to be when it comes to celebrities in India.
In a final twist, the Indo-Asian News Service reported the Khans would not be paying any compensation to the victim’s family as she had been disowned.