Salman Khan found guilty, others acquitted in blackbuck poaching case

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Jodhpur:  A Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted actor Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case while acquitted other four actors in the case.

Khan, one of India’s biggest stars, has been found guilty of the killing of two blackbuck near Jodhpur in Rajasthan nearly 20 years ago while co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu were acquitted by the court.

The 52-year-old actor was found guilty of hunting blackbuck while working on the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain” in 1998.

He was present in the Jodhpur court today along with his co-stars of the film – Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam. Salman Khan and the other actors were facing charges under the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

The blackbuck is an endangered species and is protected under the Indian Wildlife Act. The poaching had taken place near a village of Bishnois, a community that revers blackbuck and is passionate about protecting these animals.

On the night of October 1, 1998, the Bishnoi villagers, on hearing gunshots, came out running from their huts. They allege that they chased the Gypsy that Salman Khan was driving, and that the actor fled. Deer carcass was found at the spot from where the actors drove away. The Bishnois were key witnesses in the case against Salman Khan.

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