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Bollywood star gets five years for illegal hunt

By Sunita Patel-Carstairs, News Reporter
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been jailed for five years for killing an endangered species of antelope in a wildlife preserve two decades ago.
The 52-year-old actor, who was at the hearing in Jodhpur, in Rajasthan state, was also handed a 10,000 rupee (€109) fine as he was led into custody.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri reportedly described the star as an "habitual offender" as he was sentenced.Khan was driven away amid chaotic scenes outside court and is expected to start serving his sentence at a local prison."A warrant has been issued in his name and he will be sent to Central Jail," said Prosecutor Mahipal Bishnoi.
Bollywood star gets five years for illegal hunt

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Indian blackbucks, also known as Indian antelopes. File pic
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 stars - Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam - were also accused in the case related to the illegal hunting of blackbucks in 1998, but were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.The incident happened in the village of Kankani, near Jodhpur, in western India, when the cast had gathered to shoot Indian family drama "Hum Saath Saath Hain".They were in the jeep that Salman Khan was believed to be driving during the hunt.A member of the Bishnoi community, a religious sect which opposes the killing of animals, claimed to have witnessed the shooting.
Bollywood star gets five years for illegal hunt

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Members of the Bishnoi community celebrate the conviction and sentence
Indian TV footage showed people cheering and applauding the court sentence.
Khan has denied the allegations throughout, with his lawyers arguing the blackbucks died of natural causes such as overeating, and that there was no evidence to suggest they had been shot.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.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.He arrived for the proceedings wearing a black shirt and dark sunglasses in a white SUV, flanked by security.Mr Bishnoi had earlier told reporters that Khan's legal team had argued for a light sentence for the offence, which carries a maximum prison term of six years.
Bollywood star gets five years for illegal hunt

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Khan is one of India's biggest filmstars
"They are praying for probation, they are emphasising on the minimum sentence," he said.It is not the first time Khan - who has cultivated an image as a Bollywood "bad boy" - has been in trouble with the law.In 2015, Bombay High Court overturned his conviction in a 2002 hit-and-run case in which he was accused of running over a group of people sleeping on a pavement, killing one.
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The government of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, has challenged his acquittal in the Supreme Court.Khan also caused outrage in 2016 when he compared training sessions for a film to rape.
news.sky.com
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