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Blackbuck case: Salman gets five years in jail

Jodhpur. A Jodhpur court on Thursday held Bollywood actor Salmankhan quilty, and awarded him five years in jail in a case related to blackbuck poaching filed against him in 1998. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the actor.

Salman’s lawyers plan to move the sessions court as well as the Rajasthan High Court for bail. If the bail application is not heard today, the actor will have to spend the night in jail today. He is currently being taken to Jodhpur Central Jail, where Asaram Bapu is lodged in a rape case.

Actors Sonali Bendre, Saif Ali,  Neelam and Tabu, who were co-accused in the case, were however acquitted by the court. Dushyant Singh, who was allegedly accompanying the actors when the poaching took place, has also been acquitted.

Salman has been accused of killing two blackbucks in September, 1998 in Kankani village, Jodhpur, during the shooting of “Hum Saath Saath Hain”. While the prosecution had demanded maximum punishment, Salman’s lawyer had pleaded for minimum sentence. In less than three years of jail, the actor could have applied for bail in the same court. However, in view of the quantum of punishment pronounced, he will now have to move a higher court.

Meanwhile, the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan has expressed displeasure over the acquittal of Saif, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali. A member said they would appeal against the acquittal of the four co-accused in the blackbuck poaching case. He said they would also approach the state forest department to appeal against the acquittal and would send a representation to the government.