Salman Khan convicted in blackbuck poaching case

Salman Khan convicted in blackbuck poaching case

A trial court on Thursday convicted actor Salman Khan in the two-decade-old blackbuck poaching case.

However his co-stars, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and a local travel agent - Dushaynt Singh - were acquitted.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri, while pronouncing the verdict in the 1998 blackbuck killing case called the actor a "habitual offender".

Judge Khatri ruled that hence the actor has been convicted, while the others have been given the benefit of the doubt.

Salman's lawyer Hastimal Saraswat is arguing for a shorter quantum of sentence.

If he gets under three years, he can apply for bail right here. If he gets a sentence for more than three years, he will have to apply for bail in the sessions/high court.

Salman reached the court along with his sisters Arprita and Alvira in a blue SUV under tight security, dressed in his "lucky" black shirt

Court turns into fortress

Heavy security was deployed at the court premises in the wake of threats given by gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to hurt Khan.

"We have deployed around 200 security personnel who will guard the star cast especially Salman Khan. Of the four gates, only two gates will be open for entry and exit", DCP Amandeep told DH.

The case dates back to October 1996 when Salman, Saif, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali reportedly went on a hunting expedition in Kankani and killed two blackbucks around midnight on October 1-2, 1998.

The actors were in Rajasthan for the shoot of Hindi film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.

The incident had taken place near a village inhabited by Bishnois, a community that revers the blackbuck and is passionate about protecting these animals.

Blackbucks are an endangered species and hunting them is prohibited under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Salman was also charged for keeping an arm with an expired license and was charged under the Arms Act in which he was acquitted in by a trial court in January 2017.

There were two more cases against the actor for reportedly killing two chinkaras (Indian Gazelle), but here also actor was acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in July 2016.

However, prosecutors have challenged his acquittal in a higher court which is currently pending in the Supreme Court.

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