MUMBAI ~ Actor Salman Khan, who lives with his family in Bandra’s Galaxy Apartments, purchased two enviable bungalows in 2011. They adjoin each other and overlook the sea. However, in between, in Chimbai village, lies the dwelling of a Koli fisherman, Lawrance Falcon. He uses the area outside his home to park his six boats and dry his catch. Since Salman bought the bungalows, Falcon says he is being pressured to give up his house.
“It started with his bodyguards telling us to vacate the area and to meet Salim Khan to settle the issue,” he says. Later, the guards reportedly threw their fishing nets and plastic sheets used to cover the boats into the sea.
On 30 December 2012, the Falcons claim, the guards, in an inebriated condition, burnt their fishing nets and equipment. When they tried to stop them, they verbally and physically abused the family. Both Salim and Salman Khan, on different occasions, visited Falcon’s home. Salman reportedly asked Lawrance to sell the plot to him for Rs 3 crore. Salim Khan allegedly ordered him to sell the plot, or he would be jailed and beaten up.
The Falcons have filed three police reports so far—in September 2011, May 2012 and December 2012—yet no action has been taken. In fact, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation twice pulled down bamboo structures used to dry their fish nets. “They did not even give a reason. We are certain they were working at the behest of the Khans,” says Anil Joseph, president of Perry Road Residents Association, who has been helping the family. Falcon approached Additional Commissioner of Police Vishvas Nagre Patil on 5 March, and was promised that a probe would be conducted within 15 days, but this too hasn’t happened.
Ironically, Falcon has also been working as a liftman in Galaxy Apartments for over 40 years. After he filed the complaints, he was summoned by the actor. “Salman told me, ‘Who do you think you are—some bhai or dada?’” he says. Despite repeated attempts, Salim Khan did not speak with Open.▪