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Blackbuck poaching case: Salman sentenced to five years in jail, others acquitted

Blackbuck poaching case: Salman sentenced to five years in jail, others acquitted

A Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case but acquitted his colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre, a prosecution lawyer said. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local from the area, has also been acquitted, said Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel.

Salman was found guilty of killing the blackbucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of 1 October, 1998 during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain.

While the media waited outside the heavily guarded court premises, arguments for the quantum of sentencing were continuing inside the courtroom, lawyers said.

Salman has been held guilty under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on 28 March, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved his judgment.

All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman, 52, in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, the lawyer said.

Dressed in a black shirt, Salman reached the court earlier in the morning with his bodyguard.

The other actors, some of them accompanied by their family members, were also in the courtroom when the verdict was read out.