New Delhi, April 5: The Bishnoi community, which has been fighting battling a court battle against Bollywood biggies including superstar Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case, is not happy by the court’s verdict acquitting four film personalities. A Jodhpur court on Thursday convicted and sentenced Salman Khan to five years in jail but acquitted others – Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and sonali Bendre – in the 20-year-old case.
The Bishnoi community, which leads the blackbuck protection movement in areas around Jodhpur, had demanded maximum punishment for Salman Khan.
“We’ll analyse the judgement. We want an immediate appeal to be filed against those who have been acquitted and we also demand maximum punishment for Salman Khan: Rampal Bhawad, State President, Bishnoi Tigers Vanya Evam Paryavaran Sanstha, told reporters.
Salman has been held guilty of killing two blackbucks in Kankani village near Jodhpur in October 1998 during the shooting of the film “Hum Saath Saath Hain” A fifth person, Dushyant Singh, a local from the area, has also been acquitted, said Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel
Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on March 28, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved his judgment. Salman was facing charges under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.
All the actors were in a Gypsy car on the night of October 1, 1998 that night, with Salman Khan in the driving seat. The reportedly spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them. Salman, however, had pleaded innocence in the case.
(With reports from PTI)