He looked perplexed when the judicial magistrate asked him about his caste. After giving it some thought he said, “Hindu and Muslim.”
Before recording Salman’s statement, Chief Judicial Magistrate Anupama Bijlani asked him his name, father’s name, profession and other details to be mentioned in the various legal forms. Salman answered everything, but he got confused when the magistrate asked him about his caste. He gave a puzzled look to the magistrate as well as to his counsel and bodyguard and after a few seconds someone among the crowd suggested he is a “Muslim”.
Salman then said, “Hindu and Muslim”. Salman informed the magistrate that his father is a Muslim and mother a Hindu. Salman’s father, famous screen writer Salim Khan is a Muslim, and his mother, Susheela Charak, (Salma) is a Hindu.
The Bollywood actor also alleged in the court that he has been falsely implicated in the case.
The magistrate then asked Salman, “Four witnesses in this case have stated charges against you. Should we pronounce these statements in detail or in brief?” To this Salman’s counsel said, “in brief.” And then the charges are read out. Then for each charge Salman said, “These are false charges.”
The magistrate then asked the actor, “You want to say something in your defence?” To this Salman said “I am innocent. I am being framed wrongly.” The magistrate asked him, “Who is doing so?” The forest department officials, said Salman. the magistrate then asked him if he wanted to submit any evidence in his defence. Salman kept silent. Then his counsel said that they want to submit evidence. After this the court fixed the next hearing for May 4.
It may be recalled that CJM Anupama Bijlani had on April 23 asked Salman’s counsel to ensure his presence in the court on April 29.
At 9.50 am on Wednesday morning, Salman along with his body guard Shera and sister Alvira reached the court in Jodhpur. A contingent of police was posted outside the court to control the fans who had gathered in large numbers to get a glimpse of the film star. The CJM had asked Khan to appear before the court for recording of his statement on April 23, but he did not come due to infection in his ear.
Salman and a few other Bollywood actors were accused of poaching blackbucks on the midnight of October 1-2, 1998 during the shooting of movie Hum Saath Saath Hain.
Two blackbucks, a protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, were killed on the outskirts of Kankani village near Jodhpur. Khan is accused of carrying and using illegal arms. He is also alleged to have been carrying arms with an expired licence.