BY ANUJ RADIA
A Jodhpur court today has found superstar Salman Khan guilty of killing endangered blackbuck, an incident which occurred in 1998, whilst shooting for Hum Saath Saath Hain.
The superstar will have to serve 5 years in prison and is charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. According to NDTV, Khan has been fined Rs. 10,000 and cannot get bail from this court.
Co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu were also accused of being complicit in the hunting trip but were acquitted due to lack of evidence. They were charged under Section 51 with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.
As reported by The Economic Times, Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri, while pronouncing the verdict in the case called the actor a ‘habitual offender.’
Hence, Judge Khatri ruled that the 52-year-old actor has been convicted, while the others have been given the benefit of the doubt.
Hundreds of police were positioned outside the courtroom in Jodhpur to hold back fans who gathered in masses to support the Dabanng actor.
This case has been underway for 20 years. With regards to the 2002 hit-and-run case, Khan was acquitted in 2015 by the Bombay High Court in December 2015 after being found guilty in the case earlier that year.
One person was killed and four injured in the incident.
Salman Khan will now be taken to Jodhpur Central Jail, which also holds convicted religious leader, Asaram Bapu.
Further updates to follow.
Photo Courtesy: Sunil Verma/AP in The Guardian