Salman in jail for black buck poaching

Jodhpur, April 5: Bollywood actor Salman Khan will have to spend another night in the jail as a Jodhpur court today sentenced Salman Khan to five-year prison term in the 1998 blackbuck killing case. His bail application would be tomorrow morning.

The other actors — Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari — have been acquitted in the same case.

The actor has also been fined a penalty of Rs 10,000. He has been taken to Jodhpur Central Jail, where he will be spending the night.

Salman Khan was accused of killing two blackbucks in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the intervening night of October 1-2, 1998, during the shooting of Hum Saath Saath Hain. He has been convicted under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, which carries maximum punishment of six years and minimum one-year jail term.

As the sentence is more than three years, the actor will have to appeal in higher court for bail. His bail plea hearing is scheduled for Friday morning. He is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Rajasthan High Court.

Khan had earlier spent a total of 18 days in the Jodhpur jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching.

Salman had a total of four cases against him related to the 1998 poaching incident and has been acquitted in the other three.

His ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ co-stars, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam, who were co-accused, have been acquitted in the case. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local businessman from the area, has also been acquitted. The Bishnoi Sabha has decided to appeal against these acquittals.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri, while pronouncing the verdict in the case, called the actor a ‘habitual offender’.

Meanwhile many in Bollywood fraternity have come out in support of Salman. Jaya Bachchan has expressed her disappointment over Salman Khan’s conviction. Jaya Bachchan has said that there’s a lot at stake. “I feel bad, there is a lot of money riding on him. What can one say… The law will take its own course. He is into a lot of charity so he should get bail.”

Feminist and author Taslima Nasreen spoke out against Salman’s sentence, tweeting: “Killing endangered animals is a crime. But 5 years imprisonment for it is too much. Fine him Rs 5 crores  and let him go.”



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