Published On : Thu, May 7th, 2015

Spare a thought for this man also – he lost everything in the Salman case

ravindraNurullah Mehboob Sharif, was not the only fatal casualty of Salman’s rash and drunk driving that fateful night. If Sharif lost his life, this man, lost his livelihood, his family, his home… everything one lives for. We are refering to Constable Patil without whose FIR and testimony there would have been no case.

Police Constable Ravindra Patil was deputed as a bodyguard for Bollywood super star Salman Khan those days and his duty was to be with the star all the time.

Thus he was with him on that fateful night when the ‘accident’ occured in Bandra and people sleeping on the pavement were hit and one died on the spot.

It was Patil who filed an FIR about it in the police station in which he clearly deposed that Salman Khan was at the wheel and he had consumed a lot of alcohol that night. He even stated that he had requested  Salman bhai to not drive but he did not heed his advise.

There were other witnesses who corroborated Patil’s statement but he was arguably the prosecution’s star witness who gave testimony to the police fearlessly.

But when the case came up for hearing in court a strange thing happened. Patil went missing! For five subsequent dates he did not appear, prompting the court to issue an arrest warrant against him. His colleagues finally found him holed up in Mahabaleshwar. He said he had run away from his police duty and also his home because he was being constantly threatened and feared the Defense lawyers. Instead of being told to not worry and being offered protection since he was a key witness in this high profile case, he was thrown out of his job by his superiors and put in jail along with hardened criminals. (Arthur road jail – ironically the same place Salman may be taken to today).

When he was released after a few months, his family too disowned him for reasons best known to them. (Were they bought off? Were they threatened to not take him back?)

Whatever the reason, Ravindra Patil was now jobless and homeless too – and probably being hounded. He disappeared again.

Only to be ‘found’ soon at the Municipal hospital in Sewree where he was being treated for a critical condition of drug resistant Tuberculosis.

He died of it in 2007.

But today, it is his testimony that is largely responsible for the Judge pronouncing the actor guilty on all counts and dismissing the Defense lawyer’s arguments that it was a driver and not Salman who were driving.