Bollywood star Salman Khan convicted of poaching
Jodhpur (Reuters): Salman Khan was found guilty on Thursday of killing endangered Indian wildlife nearly two decades ago, a prosecutor said, a charge that could see the Bollywood superstar jailed for six years.
The court in Jodhpur convicted the 52-year-old actor of killing two blackbucks, which are a protected species under the Indian Wildlife Act, while he was shooting a movie in the state of Rajasthan. Salman Khan can appeal the verdict.
Four other actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam – who were working with him on the film and who had also been charged with the offense, were acquitted.
Mahipal Bishnoi, a prosecuting lawyer, said the court was hearing arguments on the appropriate sentence for the actor.
Police were deployed in their hundreds outside the courtroom in Jodhpur to keep away the crowd of fans that had gathered ti support the body-building actor, who is best known for his macho roles.
It’s not the first time that Khan has found himself in court.
In December 2015, Khan was acquitted of running over and killing five homeless people with his SUV in 2002 after the prosecution “failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt” that he was behind the wheel.
In an unrelated prosecution, he was acquitted in December 2015 of shooting and killing a gazelle and two antelopes in separate incidents, after previously being convicted by a lower court. That case had been brought by the Bishnoi community, a Hindu group that considers wild animals sacred.