Blackbuck poaching case: Verdict on actors Salman, Saif, Sonali Bendre, Tabu today

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A Jodhpur court will today will pronounce its verdict in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case against Bollywood star Salman Khan, and five others, including four actors, on Thursday. According to reports, Salman Khan, Sonali Bendre and Tabu are also reportedly headed to Jodhpur for the verdict.

The killings angered the Bishnoi community, who protect wildlife with a zeal, and they filed a complaint against the actors and a local involved in the shooting.

The trial of the case has been in progress for the last 19 years and Judge Dev Kumar Khatri reserved the order after the final arguments on March 28. The Hum Saath Saath Hain actors arrived in the Rajasthani city yesterday and will be present in court today for the pronouncement of the verdict.

Later, a video went viral in which Saif Ali Khan, after arriving, can be heard using rough language and asking his driver to roll up the car's window-panes and reverse as a crowd gathers around his vehicle.

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Salman was also booked in a case of illegal possession of arms as the license of the arms he allegedly used while hunting down the black bucks had expired. He was convicted in two poaching cases by trial court, only to be acquitted by the Rajasthan high court later.

When he saw a herd of blackbucks, he shot and killed two, but fled when others saw them, leaving the two dead animals there. Blaming the prosecution he said: "It engaged in tampering and fabricating evidence and documents as well as roping in fake witnesses to prove its case. Hence, such investigation can not be trusted", Saraswat said.

August 31, 2007: Rajasthan HC sentenced Salman Khan 5 years in prison. A forensic report also confirmed that the blood samples obtained from Salman Khan's auto matched with the blackbucks. He spent six days in jail before the sentence was suspended.

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