NEW DELHI — Well-known Bollywood star Salman Khan was on Thursday sentenced to five years in prison after Muslim film actor was convicted of killing two blackbucks in Rajasthan.
Khan has also been fined to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 in the 19-year-old case. However, Khan’s co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam who were also accused have been acquitted.
In 1998, while filming for Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain, Salman Khan along with his co-actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam were charged with poaching blackbucks near Kankani village in Jodhpur. Blackbucks or the Indian antelope is a kind of endangered species that’s protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Khan was also accused of allegedly killing two chinkaras or Indian gazelle in Bhawad and another in Mathania, both in Rajasthan, He was later acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in 2016 for the poaching of chinkaras.
In India, the social media activists came up with mixed reactions. Several activists lauded the sentence while other called it harsh and unjustified.
The sentenced was widely criticised in Pakistan where foreign minister Khwaja Asif told Geo TV that Salman Khan received harsh sentence because he belonged to minority Muslim community of India.
Pakistani fans of Salman Khan has expressed deep sorrow and regret over five years sentence to Salman Khan while many killers of human beings remained unpunished. Social media activists in Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir also criticised the sentence by Indian judiciary which remained silent on killings of thousands of Kashmiris.