Salman Khan jailed for poaching

Mumbai – Jodhpur court has found actor Salman Khan guilty in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case while acquitting actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam who had accompanied him in that ill-fated hunting trip 20 years ago.

After the verdict, the actor’s lawyers argued Salman Khan be placed on probation or given a mild sentence. The maximum punishment for this offence is six years. The blackbuck is an endangered species, protected under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The court has decided upon a two-year jail sentence for the actor, which makes him eligible for bail.

Salman Khan is the main accused in the killing of two rare 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.

The actor faced charges under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and the other actors were charged under Section 51 read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.

Maximum punishment under Section 51 is for a period of six years.

The killing took place near a Bishnoi Village. The Bishnois are passionate about protecting the animals. On hearing the gunshots, the villagers had come out running and some were among the 28 witnesses who were interrogated in the probe.

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