An Indian court jailed Bollywood star Salman Khan for five years for poaching on Thursday, lawyers said, a sentence likely to derail the career of one of the country’s most popular actors.
Khan, 52, was found guilty of violating wildlife laws by killing a blackbuck, an endangered species of antelope, in 1998. Four other Bollywood actors accused in the case were acquitted.
The stocky Khan wore a black shirt and sunglasses as he entered the court followed by an entourage of aides. Television footage later showed police escorting him to jail in Jodhpur, in the western state of Rajasthan.
Television said Khan planned to appeal against the sentence. His lawyer, Anand Desai, told Reuters he had submitted a plea for bail which a judge will hear on Friday.
The case was brought by members of a community known as the Bishnoi, who revere antelopes. The community has pursued the case against Khan for almost two decades and cheered the decision by setting off firecrackers near the courthouse and handing out sweets.
Four other Bollywood actors accused in the case – Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali Bendre – were acquitted, prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi said.
Some actors came out in Khan’s support. “I feel this is too harsh. I do hope he gets the relief he deserves,” Arjun Rampal said.
Khan has had a history of run-ins with the law.
In 2015, Bombay High Court overturned his conviction in a hit-and-run case in which he was accused of running over a group of people sleeping on a city sidewalk, killing one and injuring four.
Last year, another court in Jodhpur acquitted Khan in a separate poaching case, ruling that there was no proof that Khan had killed an endangered gazelle.
Khan has made a series of blockbuster hits in the last few years with the latest in December, “Tiger Zinda Hai”, grossing more than 3 billion rupees ($52 million) at the box office.
His next film, “Race 3”, is an action thriller scheduled for release later in the year.
The court’s ruling against Khan, who has 32.5 million followers on Twitter and was promoting his movie last week, sparked worries among Bollywood traders.
“If he doesn’t get bail, then the jail term will have repercussions,” said Girish Johar, a trade analyst. “He is a big star, and has a lot of big films lined up, all scheduled to be released over the next two years.”
- Happy Birthday Shah Rukh Khan: Fans pour in love and wishes for their superstar on social media
- SP Balasubrahmanyam turns 73: Quirky songs crooned by the legendary singer in Telugu cinema
- German greenhouse harvests veggies in Antarctica; Macron’s plan aims to catch France up on autism care; more in world news
- Defending champs Sunrisers beat Challengers in IPL opener
- Photos: Kartik Aaryan unveils the cover page of Filmfare magazine's November issue
- Virat Kohli wishes Anushka Sharma happy birthday in the most adorable way
- Highlights from the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
- Why diet like Kohli when you can hit longer sixes than him, says overweight Shahzad
- I can hit bigger sixes than Kohli, so why do I need to follow his diet?, asks Mohammad Shahzad
- Aisi Hai Tanhai: Be wary of your digital footprints
- Buck Weaver's family pushes to get 'Black Sox' player reinstated
- 2016 NFL season: Record predictions for all 32 teams
- Power rankings and record predictions
- Is it right for Australia to own Steve Smith?
Bollywood actor Salman Khan guilty of poaching rare antelope have 555 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at April 5, 2018. This is cached page on Health Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.