Ashok Singh, Salman Khan’s driver gave a dramatic twist to the thirteen-year-long hit-and-run case in its last leg. Salman’s loyal knight readily offered his neck and took the blame for what happened on that fateful night in September 2002. In the last one month, Ashok’s name was on everyone’s lips - besides emerging as the most crucial link to the case, he was also referred to as "Wafadaari ki Misaal", in Bollywood lingo.
Just like Salman’s family, Ashok Singh's has had sleepless nights for the past several days. He was the man who drove Salman to the Mumbai court early morning on the day of the verdict. While driving to the court, we presume, both men - the superstar and his driver - experienced similar emotions. They both felt sick to their stomach, they were nervous and knew that the day and the court’s verdict would decide the course of the rest of their lives.
|Ashok Singh took 12 long years to confess that "he was behind the wheel".|
Who is Ashok Singh? How did he heighten the drama in real life?
1. Ashok Singh, 48, is Salman’s loyal driver, who started working for him when the actor was still taking baby steps towards stardom - before Salman had made it big with Sooraj Barjatya’s superhit film Maine Pyar Kiya.
2. The driver enjoys the sobriquet "Salman ka driver" given to him in the modest locality near 4 Bungalows in Andheri, where he lives in a small house with wife Anita and two sons. The boys do not aspire to work in films - one goes to college and the other works in a call centre.
3. Anita stands by her husband for "showing his loyalty" and marching to the court to take the blame. In an interview to a leading daily, Anita justified her husband's action. "Agar aaj chup rehte toh 25 saal ki wafadaari ka koi mol nahi rahta," said Anita in the interview to Mumbai Mirror.
4. Anita refuted the charges that her husband was bribed to make the confessions in the court. It took twelve long years for her husband to muster courage to go to the court and make the confession that "the tyre was burst", and that "he was behind the wheel."
5. Every time he visited the police station with an intention to confess, Singh would find the police and the media hounding Salman Khan, which made him all the more nervous.
6. Ashok was dismissed as a "liar" by the prosecution and faces charges of perjury.