Joining the Mumbai Police as a constable, Ravindra Patil later trained for the Special Operations Squad and became a commando whose duty is to guard the VIPs across India. He was assigned to Salman Khan as a non-armed bodyguard to protect the high profile actor from numerous underworld threats.
Why are we talking about Ravindra Patil?
Ravindra Patil was the prime witness of Salman Khan’s 2002 hit-and-run case.
As of now, Salman Khan’s verdict sentences him to 5 years in prison for driving, without a license, under the influence of alcohol, resulting in the death of one person and injuries to four others who were sleeping on the footpath.
Salman Khan, according to case, then fled the crime scene, in stead of providing assistance with medical care for the injured.
In his testimony Ravindra Patil clearly stated that it was Salman Khan, the accused in the case, who was driving the vehicle which killed one man and injured four others, under the influence of alcohol which was above the permitted limit.
Patil also said, “I told the accused to slow down as a right turn was coming up. He ignored me again.”
In consecutive hearings of the case in court, Patil also revealed details of the scene. He explained that the car that Salman was driving crashed into an American Express Bakery and broke its shutter after Salman Khan spend some time at a bar with Kamaal Khan. According to Patil, he himself was seated on the passenger seat of the car and Kamaal Khan was seated in the back seat.
“The accused and Kamaal ran away from the spot. I went to the car to check and saw that one person was seriously injured. There were four others who were stuck under the car.”
After giving the testimony, the life of Ravindra Patil changed:
After not appearing at the court for five consecutive times, Mr. Patil was sent to the Arthur Road Jail. He also lost his job as a policeman.
Even though his crime was being absent from court, he was kept with hardened criminals and was reportedly ill-treated and tortured inside the jail.
Why did Mr. Patil not appear in the court is a mystery. Was it some controversy?
In 2007, Patil was found as a beggar on the Mumbai streets. It was also then found that Patil had been suffering from tuberculosis since approximately two years.
Disowned by his family and completely forgotten by the judiciary, the media, the police and Salman Khan, Patil died of TB in October 2007.
Would it be wrong to say that the hit-and-run case of September 2002 in which Salman Khan has been convicted ruined the life of an innocent and honest member of an elite security force and eventually led to his death?
This is how Ravindra Patil looked in 2002.
And this is how he looked in 2007.
To give him the credit he deserves, Ravindra Patil, till his unfortunate death, stuck by his testimony that it was Salman Khan who was driving the vehicle that night.