DUBAI: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, on bail over a deadly hit-and-run 13 years ago, performed in Dubai on his first overseas public appearance since his conviction earlier this month.
Arriving at the first season of the Arab-Indo Bollywood Awards ceremony held in the Emirati city late on Friday, Khan was met by loud cheers from a massive audience that included Indian and Arab celebrities.
The controversial actor was found guilty earlier this month of killing a homeless man with his SUV after a night out drinking in an upmarket bar in Mumbai in 2002.
He arrived nearly five hours later than scheduled Friday to an almost full theatre, and surrounded by several dozen bodyguards.
Among the attendees were Indian actress Urvashi Rautela as well as actor and producer Anil Kapoor.
Bollywood stars Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra as well as Indian band Meet Brothers performed during the ceremony that went on until early dawn.
Khan presented the best director award to Sajid Nadiadwala for his film “Kick.”
A court on May 6 sentenced Khan to five years in prison for culpable homicide and other charges, including driving while under the influence of alcohol.
But two days later the Bombay High Court agreed to suspend the 49-year-old’s sentence pending an appeal.
The court granted Khan bail and ruled he must secure its permission if he wants to leave India before the appeal hearing, expected to take place within two months.
On Tuesday, the court said he could attend the award ceremony in Dubai.
“Salman shall furnish his travel plan, flight timing and number, address of the place where he will be staying in Dubai, his contact details including mobile number and landline number to the investigating agency,” the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi as saying.
Khan has starred in more than 100 films and television shows but is no stranger to controversy, having spent over a week behind bars for killing an endangered Indian gazelle in 1998.
The actor claims he was not at the wheel when his Land Cruiser rammed into a group of homeless men sleeping rough on a pavement, killing labourer Nurulah Mahbob Sharif and injuring several others.
The High Court is due to reconvene on June 15 to set a date for the appeal hearing.
Indians make up the largest expatriate community in the United Arab Emirates, about 30 percent of the oil-rich Gulf country’s population of eight million people.