Blackbuck case: Salman Khan to spend another night in jail

After hearing both the sides on the bail plea, District and Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi reserved its decision till tomorrow. The magistrate gave the benefit of the doubt to the four other actors, accused of accompanying him in a Gypsy vehicle while the two blackbucks were being hunted on the night of October 1-2, 1998. While the actor was charged with a fine of Rs 10,000 along with imprisonment of 5 years, others involved Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam Kothari and Sonali Bendre were acquitted by the Jodhpur court yesterday.

Salman's lawyers have appealed to the Jodhpur session court for bail.

The entire nation stood still while we all saw our dear old Salman Khan get convicted in the Blackbuck poaching case after 20 odd years. He argued that this was the only case where an eyewitness was available and the prosecution has succeeded in proving the crime beyond any doubt.

As the judgment was pronounced at 11.25am, some say Khan twitched a little. However, it is uncertain till what time they will extend.

# Salman Khan's counsel claims to have received threatening messages. "I am getting death threats". "I was not the one who shot", Salman Khan had told. Family members including brothers Sohail and Arbaaz, brother in law Aayush Sharma were at Salman's Galaxy Apartment in Bandra. The defence will further add that the actor is paying price for being a celebrity and the 5 year jail term is too harsh.

The Dabangg star was directly taken to the Jodhpur Central Jail after the verdict was announced. Earlier, he had spent 18 days in the jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching. According to jail superintendent Vikram Singh, Zinta visited Salman Khan in the afternoon. He was given a wooden bed, a blanket and a cooler in his cell and would be given normal dal chapatti and khichdi to eat in the morning. Singh said that the actor had a blood pressure issue when he arrived in jail and the doctor of the prison dispensary checked him. They prayed to give the actor bail.

Sonali Bendre, who was also a co-accused in the case, arrived in court, wearing a printed, pastel-blue kurta with palazzo trousers. This helped boost Shivade's case that Bishnoi was not at the site of the killing but 150 metres away from it. From all the while he was getting accused of killing and hunting the animals.

Officials attribute a substantial part of this increase in the number of blackbuck to the awareness that came after the actor was booked in the poaching cases. His lawyer is presenting the case in front of the magistrate.

  • Rogelio Becker