A Jodhpur court has sentenced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to five-year jail term in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, while other actors — Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari — have been acquitted. The Bishnoi Sabha, a community committed to protect the blackbucks, has decided to appeal against other acquittals. 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.
NEW DELHI —After a legal battle that lasted nearly 20 years, a prominent Bollywood actor once seen by many as above the law was convicted of poaching two endangered blackbuck antelopes.
Salman Khan, a 52-year-old baby-faced leading was sentenced to five years in jail after members of the Bishnoi religious sect in western India accused him of shooting at a group of rare black-and-white antelope on a hunting trip while filming a movie in 1998.
The verdict comes as a surprise to many who say Khan’s connections have got him out of trouble in the past — the actor was previously acquitted of two separate poaching cases and also of a hit-and-run manslaughter charge in 2015.
“There’s a sense in India that the rich and mighty can get away from the law … today, finally there’s a sense of justice being done,” said one news anchor as she announced the verdict.
Khan’s fans thronged outside the courtroom hoping to catch a glimpse of the actor on his way in, and police ramped up security, Indian media reported.