Salman Khan and raging controversies, go hand-in-hand. Though he has desperately tried to cleanse his image in the past few years, with his Being Human foundation, reconciliation with various people, donations to charity, his past continues to haunt him.
The actor has been involved in legal hassles, public brawls, angry press conferences, inappropriate statements…the list can go on.
Salman has just been convicted in the infamous 1998 blackbuck case. Here is a look at the other burning controversies that he has managed to embroil himself in, over the years.
1998 BLACKBUCK CASE
During the making of Hum Saath Saath Hai in 1998, Salman allegedly went hunting with Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre and Tabu. He is accused of killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur’s Kankani village. The local Bishnoi community was enraged and raised their voice against the act, following which a case was filed against Salman and his co-stars.
Not just this, two separate cases were registered against him under the Wildlife Protection Act for poaching three chinkaras in separate incidents on September 26 and September 28. He even served twice in the Jodhpur Jail, in April 2006 and in August 2007.
Salman and his co-stars have been charged under section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Salman has been convicted in the case, whereas the other actors have been acquitted.
POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL ARMS
A separate case of illegal possession of arms was separately filed against Salman, as the license of the arms he used, while hunting the blackbuck on October1-2 in 1998 had expired.
2002 HIT-AND-RUN CASE
Salman was far from getting any respite in the blackbuck case, when the actor hurtled headfirst into another controversy. He was caught in a hit-and-run case, when his car reportedly ran into a Mumbai bakery, killing one and injuring four. In December 2015, the Bombay High Court acquitted Salman of all criminal charges in a hit-and-run case, even though he had been found guilty by a trial court.
DISPARAGING COMMENTS ON 26/11 ATTACKS
Salman drew heavy flak for telling a Pakistani Channel that the Mumbai attacks in 2008 were hyped, as the “elite” people were targeted.
“It was the elite that was targeted this time. Five star hotels and all. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before? Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” Salman had said.
His comments prompted furious actions from political parties, and earned him the tag ‘anti-national’ from the Shiv Sena, who demanded that he should apologise for his comments. Finally, Salman had to retract his statements.
RELATIONSHIP WITH AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN
From their scorching chemistry in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to the burning controversies that went on for years after they broke up, the Salman Khan-Aishwarya Rai affair has been the subject of much discussion and speculation in Bollywood. Their affair began on the sets of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and things seemed perfect.
Yet, their equation turned so ugly and violent, that even today, the two refuse to acknowledge each other. In November 2001, eyewitnesses say that Salman reached Aishwarya’s apartment and kept banging on the door, asking to be let in. Some say that he even threatened to commit suicide if she didn’t let him in. The drama continued till 3am in the morning, and finally she let him in. Apparently, his hands were bleeding. According to sources, the reason behind the spectacle was that he wanted a promise of marriage from Ash. However, she was in no hurry to get married, back then.
Salman later said in an interview that she wasn’t returning his love, and that he was forced to turn violent.
Aishwarya later confirmed her break-up with Salman in 2002, and said that he wasn’t able to come to terms with it. By this time, Salman was creating chaos in Aishwarya’s professional life as well. He reportedly showed up on the sets of Shah Rukh Khan’s Chalte Chalte, and tried to drag her away. Aishwarya later said that he suspected her of having an affair with SRK. He even got into a fight with SRK, and many said that he held him by the collar. Salman denied this.
Later, Aishwarya also said that the “Salman chapter was the worst” in her life, and that she was glad she was out of it.
“He would call me up after the break-up and talk rubbish. He suspected me of having affairs with my co-stars. There were times that he got physical with me, luckily without leaving marks. I would go to work as if nothing had happened,” she said at the time.
FACE-OFF WITH VIVEK OBEROI
This was a press-conference that will always be remembered in Bollywood history. Vivek Oberoi was allegedly dating Aishwarya Rai, and obviously, Salman wasn’t happy with this, to say the least. Vivek called for a press conference on March 31, 2003, and said that Salman had called and abused him in a series of texts.
SULTAN RAPE COMMENT
Salman caused nationwide outrage, when he compared his exhaustion from a physically demanding shooting sequence to a ‘raped’ woman. He tried to backtrack from his statement, but the damage had already been done. This brought on a heated debate, when the Maharashtra State Commission for Women summoning the actor for a hearing. The National Commission for Women (NCW) demanded an apology from the star. Salman’s father, Salim had to apologise in a series of tweets.