NEW DELHI, April 5 (Xinhua) -- A court in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on Thursday held leading Bollywood actor Salman Khan guilty in a two-decade-old deer poaching case.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri convicted Khan of killing two blackbucks, a protected species, in a remote village near Rajasthan's city of Jodhpur on Oct. 1, 1998 during the shooting of a movie.
His co-actors from the movie, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam, have been acquitted by the court. They had been charged for being a party to the hunting.
"Khan has been held guilty under Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. He faces a minimum of one year and a maximum of six years in prison. The arguments for the quantum of sentence is currently going on in the court," a lawyer said.
"All other accused have been let off," he added.
The killing of the two blackbucks took place near a village of Bishnois, a community that protects blackbucks. Villagers claim they had chased the vehicles in which the actors were present after hearing gunshots and finding the carcasses of two deers.
The actor's defense lawyers, however, insists there is no forensic evidence that the deer were killed by gunshots.
Khan is no stranger to controversies. He has been embroiled in various cases, including a hit-and-run case, and he was jailed twice in these cases, in April 2006 and in August 2007.