Jodhpur: Bollywood actor Salman Khan was on 25 August arrested and sent to jail shortly after he landed here from Mumbai to surrender in the blackbuck poaching case in which he lost an appeal against a five-year prison term given by a lower court.
He was picked up from airport here by a police team headed by additional superintendent of police Sawai Singh Godhara when he arrived by a Jet Airways flight accompanied by his brother Sohail and lawyer Dipesh Mehta.
His lawyers argued with the police that he wanted to surrender but the law-enforcers said they had a court warrant and they had to execute it.
Khan, wearing a white T-shirt, cargo pants and sporting sunglasses, was soon after taken in a police jeep and produced before the chief judicial magistrate who had issued the non-bailable warrant since he was not present in the sessions court which had on 24 August rejected his appeal.
The CJM directed him to be lodged in the jail. His lawyers now plan to file an appeal against the sessions court judgement in the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court today itself, though it may be heard only on Monday.
A huge crowd, mostly his fans, had collected before the court apparently to have a glimpse of the 41-year-old actor. Some of them had placards supporting him.
Strict security measures were in place at the airport and the court premises.
Khan had said before his departure in Mumbai that he was a law-abiding citizen and wanted to surrender.
“A warrant has been apparently issued and as per advice from my lawyers, I am going to Jodhpur to surrender. Nobody has told me to get there but I am going there as a responsible citizen who abides by the law,” Khan told the media in Mumbai.
Salman was seen hugging his close relatives before he left his residence in Bandra’s Galaxy Apartments where his brothers Sohail and Arbaaz and sister-in-law Malaika Arora Khan were present.
The star was convicted for poaching a chinkara in 1998 during the shooting of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain. He was also given a one-year jail term in a separate poaching case in Jodhpur and has appealed against that sentence.
In his judgement on 24 August, district and sessions judge V.R. Singhvi said no court could avoid the circumstantial evidence available on record against Salman.
Circumstantial evidence is important in this case as it constitutes a chain that “loudly says a crime was committed”, he said.
Salman’s counsel could not prove how the judgement against the actor was biased, the judge said.
Salman’s contemporary Sanjay Dutt was last month given a six-year jail term for illegal possession of weapons in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case. He is currently free on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court.