Wednesday January 23, 2019
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Salman accident case: Plea seeks probe into death of witness

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Mumbai: A Pune-based rights activist has sought a probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of actor Salman Khan’s bodyguard Ravindra Patil, who was also a witness in the 2002 accident in which the actor was convicted in May.

The demand for a probe by the state government was made in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the Bombay High Court on Thursday.

Petitioner-activist Hemant Patil has contended that legal action must be initiated against Salman who allegedly pressurised the witness not to reveal the facts of the accident during the trial.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing before the court sometime next week, Hemant Patil’s lawyer R.N. Kachave said.

The petitioner claimed that during the trial, it was revealed that Salman and other unknown people used undue influence upon the late bodyguard.

Attempts were also made to prevent Ravindra Patil from giving the true version and correct statements pertaining to the accident, it was claimed.

Quoting some media reports, Kachave said Ravindra Patil had disappeared for some time and was later found dead under mysterious circumstances, which need to be probed.

He said Ravindra Patil even did not appear before the court which issued a non-bailable warrant against him, as he feared Salman and his associates, but instead of giving him protection, he was hounded and jailed.

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It was after his release from jail that Ravindra Patil disappeared and was later traced to a hotel in the Mahabaleshwar hill station by a police team.

Subsequently, it transpired that he was suffering from tuberculosis and breathed his last on October 4, 2007.

“A probe into all this could throw more light into the entire accident case involving the actor and the truth can come out,” Kachave said.

Salman was found guilty and sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by a Mumbai session court last month in the September 28, 2002 accident in Bandra which left one dead and four others injured.

His plea challenging the conviction will come up before the high court on July 1. (IANS)

Next Story

Wrongly Accused Black Men, Get a Pardon After 70 Years

Independent investigators have proved the men who were convicted without any evidence, during the notorious Jim Crow-era in the U.S., were innocent of the charge. 

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a Cabinet granted posthumous pardons Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, to Shepherd, Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas, the four African-American men accused of raping a white woman in 1949 in a case now seen as a racial injustice. VOA

Four black men who were wrongly accused of raping a 17-year-old white girl in the southern U.S. state of Florida 70 years ago, received pardons Friday.

Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas became known as the Groveland Four.

All of them are dead.

Members of their families, however, are still alive.

The families attended the clemency hearing in Tallahassee Friday where officials voted unanimously to pardon the four men.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “I believe the rule of law is society’s sacred bond. When it is trampled, we all suffer. For the Groveland Four, the truth was buried.”

U.S., Shutdown
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen beyond a chain fence during the partial government shutdown in Washington, Jan. 8, 2019. VOA

Thomas was killed by a mob shortly after the incident in 1949.

The other three were tortured into confessions and convicted by all-white juries.

Shepherd was shot and killed by a sheriff who was transporting him to a re-trial.

Greenlee and Irvin received life sentences.

Norma Padgett, the alleged rape victim, is still alive. She also attended the hearing Friday.

“I am not no liar,” she told the hearing.

Also Read: Reuters Journalists’ Appeal Gets Rejected by Myanmar Court

Independent investigators have proved the men who were convicted without any evidence, during the notorious Jim Crow-era in the U.S., were innocent of the charge.

Devil In The Grove, a book about the Groveland Four case, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013. (VOA