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Salman Khan Blackbuck Poaching Case: The Hunting Trip That Haunts 'Tiger'

The members of the community were shocked and disappointment with the court's decision as they consider the blackbuck to be the reincarnation of their religious Guru Bhagwan Jambeshwar, and Khan had shot their revered chinkara.

News18.com

Updated:April 11, 2018, 8:54 AM IST
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As Bollywood actor Salman Khan walked out of the prison on Saturday, a frenzied crowd gathered outside the Jodhpur Central Jail and burst firecrackers in celebration. Afterall, their superstar was finally granted bail by a sessions court. The 52-year-old actor had spent two consecutive days behind bars following his imprisonment in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case.

On the other hand, the Bishnoi community of Jodhpur did not seem to be too pleased. The members of the community were shocked and disappointed with the court's decision as they consider the blackbuck to be the reincarnation of their religious guru, Bhagwan Jambeshwar, and Khan had shot their revered antelope.

While the debate over fair and unfair, right and wrong continues, here's a look at what happened on the fateful day in October, 1998.

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Around 1.30 am on October 2, Poonamchand Bishnoi wakes up to use the washroom and spots a car moving around on an under-constructed road near his home. He senses something suspicious. "The car must belong to a poacher who is there to hunt," he thinks. Poonamchand immediately calls up his friend Chhogaram. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

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He hurriedly picks up his motorcycle and asks Chhogaram to sit behind him. The two speed off to catch hold of the poachers. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

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As they approach the vehicle, the duo realise it's a Gypsy with number plate 'RJ 19 - C-2201'. A look closer into the car, and they spot some familiar faces. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

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The occupants of Gypsy are people they had seen in local cinema halls! "1..2..3.. a total of seven people. And that's Salman Khan driving the vehicle and Saif Ali Khan sitting beside him! Three women and two men are sitting behind and one of the female occupants is wearing dark glasses," Poonamchand wonders with curiosity. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

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Before the Bishnoi friends could think further or find a way out, they see one of the men from behind giving a gun to Salman Khan, and a girl shouting, "Fire karo, Salman (open fire, Salman)!" Obliging his co-stars, the superstar shoots at a herd of blackbucks roaming near the Gypsy.

The panicked animals scatter as the sound of the bullet resonates. But the shooter had managed to hit the bull's eye, and a blackbuck fell on the ground after being hurt in the leg. Soon, the vehicle moves ahead till it locates another herd of blackbucks. The occupants of the car shout again, "Salman, fire karo! Goli maaro (Salman, shoot)!" And yet again, the actor opens fire. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

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Another blackbuck falls down. Pained and perplexed over the sudden sequence of events, the Bishnoi friends shout at Salman and chase the Gypsy. Alas, the vehicle has sped away!

But, the duo is unwilling to get bogged down by the superstar's popularity. The two contact a forest official, and visit the forest department in the morning and file a complaint. (News18 Creatives by Mir Suhail)

Fast forward to April 5, 2018, after nearly two decades of illegal poaching case, the Bollywood 'Dabangg' is finally sentenced to five years of imprisonment by a sessions court in Jodhpur.
| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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