Court jails 52-year-old actor for killing animals

Police stand guard outside the house of Bollywood star Salman Khan in Mumbai

Police stand guard outside the house of Bollywood star Salman Khan in Mumbai

Indian media reports suggest it could take days for Khan's legal team to apply for bail and appeal the conviction over the 20-year-old case which threatens to derail his illustrious career.

Four other actors who joined Khan on the hunting trip were let off.

Prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi told reporters outside the court in the Rajasthan city of Jodhpur: "The court has given a five-year jail term and fined Salman Khan 10,000 rupees ($150)".

The Indian antelopes, also referred to locally as blackbucks, are endangered species and considered as protected under Indian law.

A Jodhpur trial court today found Khan guilty in a 1998 poaching case, while it acquitted co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu.

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was sentenced to five years prison on Thursday by an Indian court for killing endangered wildlife almost two decades ago.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed outside the court on Thursday to keep back fans who had turned up to catch a glimpse of the much-revered celebrity.

A driver, who witnessed the killing, however, said that Khan had shot the animals.

His former girlfriend, the actor Aishwarya Rai, accused Khan of verbal and physical abuse in a 2002 interview - allegations Khan has denied.

Meanwhile, I would like to ask one question- Why is it that those a cattle trader Pehlu Khan in the name of cow are patronised by the same Rajasthan government that claims all are equal under the law?

The Bishnoi community consider killing animals unholy.

Salman Khan was accused of killing an endangered species of gazelle or chinkara in two separate incidents in 1998 while he was shooting for the movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain".

He had been sentenced to prison terms of between one and five years for convictions in related cases which he was later acquitted of following successful appeals. The sentence was suspended and he was acquitted in 2016.

Khan was the world's ninth-highest-paid actor, raking in $48 million a year ago, according to Forbes. In 2014, the Mumbai High Court acquitted him in a drunken-driving, hit-and-run case.

The Bollywood heartthrob's latest blockbuster Tiger Zinda Hai (Tiger is alive) collected some US$85 million worldwide.

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