Bollywood super star Salman Khan was today sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted by a court in northern Indian state of Rajasthan for killing two black bucks, an endangered species. However, other Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam, also accused in the case, were acquitted by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri in Jodhpur this morning. A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local of Rajasthan, has also been acquitted, Indian media reported on Thursday (Apr 5).
52-year-old Salman was found guilty of killing the black bucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of Oct 1, 1998 during the shooting of the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain". Black bucks are protected by India’s Wildlife Act. Following the quantum of sentence, Salman was taken to high-security Jodhpur central jail as posse of policemen and women kept vigil.
The punishment of five years imprisonment announced by the trial court means Salman cannot get bail from the same court and has to move a higher court--the sessions court—for relief. Had the trial court pronounced less than three years in prison for the actor, Salman could have moved the same court for bail.
The case against Salman and the other actors was filed by members of the Bishnoi community who consider the antelope sacred.
Salman Khan has been held guilty under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act under which the maximum punishment is of six years imprisonment.