What Role Did Salman Khan Play In Jiah Khan Suicide Case?


MUMBAI: The Jiah Khan suicide story continues to have its twists and turns. If the arrest of Sooraj Pancholi for the alleged abettment of Jiah Khan’s suicide was not enough, her mother Rabia Khan, today, revealed that Bollywood superstar Salman Khan played mediator between Sooraj Pancholi and his father Aditya Pancholi.

According to Rabia Khan, when Aditya Pancholi came to know about his son’s relationship with a much older Jiah Khan, he “threw a fit” and ran to Salman Khan for help, asking him to intervene in the matter. When Salman Khan did speak to Sooraj Pancholi, the latter told him that he would not break-up with Jiah Khan as he was in love with her.

Why Aditya Pancholi did not approve of Jiah Khan is not exactly known. Why he asked Salman Khan to intervene – we might have a few guesses about that.

It was announced in February 2013 that Sooraj Pancholi would make his Bollywood debut in a remake of Subhash Ghai’s 1983 film ‘Hero’. This film was to be produced by Salman Khan Productions. If Salman Khan were to nurture his child and give him a grand entry into the film industry, it made utmost sense for Aditya Pancholi to ask Salman Khan to talk to Sooraj Pancholi about Jiah Khan too.

More surprisingly though, Rabia Khan also felt that Salman Khan had an indirect, yet unknowing, hand to play in the rift between Sooraj Pancholi and Jiah Khan. Rabia Khan felt that Sooraj Pancholi’s body language had changed after he had signed the film with Salman Khan Productions. She also claimed that Jiah Khan had asked Sooraj Pancholi to introduce her to Salman Khan as she too wanted to work with him, but Sooraj Pancholi never fulfilled her wish.

Keep in mind that Jiah Khan was searching for films to act in. After an assured debut in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Nishabd’ in 2007 where she was nominated for a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, she hardly managed to set the screen on fire. She worked only on ‘Ghajini’ (2008) and ‘Housefull’ (2010) in the following years. Reports say that Farah Khan had her in mind for one of the lead roles in her next film ‘Happy New Year’. But that was never to pass.

Unlike Jiah Khan, Sooraj Pancholi had never appeared on the big screen. ‘Hero’ was to be his debut, backed by a big banner. Ironically though, after all the recent developments, the film itself could now be in question.

Although Sooraj Pancholi has only been arrested and nothing has been proven yet, there is no denying that the damage has been done. Would audiences accept an actor with Sooraj Pancholi’s reputation as a ‘Hero’ even though it may have the clout and support of Salman Khan? This could well be a sunken boat.

Only the court will decide eventually whether Sooraj Pancholi is innocent or guilty of abetting Jiah Khan’s suicide. But one thing is pretty clear that this case will not go away easily from the public eye and that many will feel its repercussions for years to come.