The Bishnoi sect, known for its beliefs associated with nature worship and wildlife conservation, will appeal against the acquittal Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari in the blackbuck poaching case. A Jodhpur Court had earlier today (April 5) convicted Salman Khan in the poaching case, but acquitted four other actors.
It was the Bishnoi villagers who registered a complaint against Salman and his four co-actors in October 1998. The Bishnoi Sabha, the primary complainant in this case, has decided to appeal against the acquittal of the other four actors, and said they will move a higher court.
"We will analyse the judgement. We want an immediate appeal to be filed against those who have been acquitted and we also demand maximum punishment for Salman Khan," Rampal Bhawad, State President of Bishnoi Tigers Vanya Evam Paryavaran Sanstha, told news agency ANI.
Khan and other actors were accused of poaching blackbucks on the midnight of October 1-2, 1998 during the filming of the Hindi movie Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Salman Khan was charged in two separate cases, one for poaching and the other for offences under the Arms Act. Blackbucks are among the endangered animals listed in the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972, and cannot be hunted. Hunting them is a criminal offence under the Act, and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Final arguments of the case were completed in the trial court on March 28, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved the judgment.
According to the complaint, Salman Khan is accused of killing two black bucks in Bhagoda ki Dhani near Jodhpur on the intervening night of October 1-2, 1998. He was also charged with possessing a weapon with an expired license.