Bollywood star Salman Khan received another setback to his 2002 hit-and-run case on Tuesday, when three witnesses testified in court that they had seen the actor exiting the vehicle that ran over and killed one man and injured four other people sleeping on the footpath outside a bakery in Mumbai's Bandra neighbourhood.

But no matter what the outcome of the case is, there is one set of people who remain convinced of his innocence: the fans that congregate outside Khan's home in Bandra every evening.

Galaxy Apartments, around the corner from the bakery where Salman Khan lives in a flat below his parents, is located on a wide curve along a seafront street. Adoring fans can safely gather in large groups without fear of being run over, or being defeated by rain or scorching sun. Their only reward is when the actor occasionally emerges on his balcony to wave to the crowds, and when he enters and exits the building.

The more regular fans are remarkably well informed about his whereabouts. One confidently asserted that the actor had been at his Panvel farmhouse for the last few days to avoid attention for the case.

“I have been here for two days,” said Shahi Khan, 16, from Mumbai, who had bunked college to see the man. “People have been saying he won’t come because he is in Panvel. But I have seen him once already a month-and-a-half ago. I hope I can see him again.”

Like the others there, Khan believes staunchly that the actor is innocent “It is a false case,” he said. “He is the best of all the stars and he is the biggest social worker. It cannot be true.”

Sonu Sharma from Delhi is a 26-year-old hairstylist who claimed that every time a new Salman Khan film is released, he would get his hair cut in the style his hero sports on screen. “Dua hoga toh bury karenge case,” he said. God willing, the case will be buried. “See, he did not do it purposely. Mistakes happen.”

“They are only putting a case against him because he is a star,” chipped in Rahul Kumar, 21, also from Delhi. “Had people like us done something similar, they would not have made such a fuss about it.”

Only Mohammed Kamran from “CG”, Chhattisgarh, was willing to accept that if Khan was found guilty, he should have to serve his time. "I am a fan, so I will of course say that he is innocent," he said. "But if bhai has done it, then he must get justice."

Khan inspires fanatical levels of devotion from his supporters across India, but in a true mark of his charmed life, even neighbours he has angered have not stayed so for long.

Around the corner from his building is Chimbai, where the actor’s assistants allegedly harassed resident fishermen because their boats were blocking the view of a bungalow plot Khan had recently bought. Laurence Falcon, who is now 70, owns the plot of land in front of Khan’s bungalow. He has also worked as a liftman in Khan’s building for the last 30 years. Last year, he attempted to file a case against the actor after his men attempted to destroy his nets twice.

“His men destroyed my nets once, twice, I let it go,” said Falcon, who has known Khan since he was a child and even used to take him crab fishing in his boat. “But the third time, I told the police.”

But when Khan’s father, Salim, realised that it was Falcon’s property that was being damaged, he felt very bad, it seems. “The bodyguards gave instructions that anyone who harasses me will immediately lose their job," said Falcon. "Ever since then, he has not troubled me at all.”