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Salman accident case: Plea seeks probe into death of witness

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.

Salman_Khan_at_Renault_Star_Guild_AwardsIt 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)

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