B-Town stands by Salman: Shocked celebs lend actor support after court hands him five-year jail sentence

Judgment was finally pronounced on Wednesday in the 2002 hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan.

The Mumbai Sessions Court held that the actor was guilty and sentenced him to five years in jail. 

Salman in respected and loved by the film faternity, and the verdict came as a big jolt for Bollywood overall. While most of the Bollywood actors remained unavailable for comment on the verdict, we managed to contact filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala who has been Salman’s best friend for more than 20 years. 

He said: “I am very much tensed.” 

Grief: Salman Khan leaves the Mumbai sessions court after being handed a five year jail term. The actor maintains his innocence.

Grief: Salman Khan leaves the Mumbai sessions court after being handed a five year jail term. The actor maintains his innocence.

Many in Bollywood were of the view that Salman got a harsher punishment than he deserved and paid a price for being a celebrity. 

Bollywood actress and social activist Gul Panag said: “This is no doubt a very trying and difficult time for Salman’s family. But the law has taken its course and as responsible citizens in a democracy we must respect the rule of law.” 

Actor Amyra Dastur, who was recently seen in Mahesh Bhatt’s Mr X, said: “I have nothing to say. I am a big fan of Salman. But ultimately he was found guilty. If he is guilty, he is guilty. I really wish he did not have to go through this.” 

New York-based fashion designer Sanjana Jon, who is quite close to the actor said: “Salman bhai is an amazing, incredibly genuine human being who not just cares but stands up for everyone around him. He truly represents what ‘Being Human’ is all about. I know that he stands for truth and justice, and he is someone who will always be true to his word. So I believe in his innocence totally. Salman bhai has been a brother to me for years and he will always be the one I can look up to in awe and admiration for his humanity and sincerity in serving mankind.” 

Bipasha Basu tweeted: “Salman is the nicest human being in this business. Wish all our prayers and love help him in this difficult time. Deeply saddened. Salman is a man who has always helped the underprivileged! A man who has done so much humanitarian work.” 

Actor Arjun Kapoor said: “It doesn't matter what anyone or any court says. Salman does not deserve this at any level. I will stand by him no matter what.” 

Amid all of this, singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya sounded somewhat politically incorrect. He tweeted: “Come out fraternity support boldly not hypocritically. Roads and footpath are not meant for sleeping, not driver's or alcohol's fault. Suicide is crime. So is sleeping on footpath. 80 per cent homeless film people struggled and achieved stardom but never slept on footpath.” 

Designer Farah Ali Khan said: “I am not saying Salman is not at any fault. But five years of imprisonment is too harsh for him. Government should take care of the homeless like other countries that take responsibility of housing for the poor people.” 

Director Karan Johar, who has been quite excited to work with Salman in his next big project Shuddhi, said: “We are all connected with Salman Khan. We stand by him.”