Jodhpur: The prosecution in the chinkara poaching case of 1998, in which Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was given prison term, today rejected the allegation by his lawyers that evidences or witnesses had been planted. Arguing in the Rajasthan High Court bench here on an appeal of Khan against the one-year sentence in the Bhawad chinkara poaching case, Additional Advocate General K L Thakur said that the statements of Harish Dulani, driver of the vehicle allegedly used by Khan in hunting the endangered species, and a key witness of another case of poaching, were vindicated by the statements of other prosecution witnesses.
The defence had earlier contended that the prosecution, relying on the statements of such a witness, who could not be examined in the court, had framed two more cases of poaching against Khan by planting witnesses and evidences. While rejecting the contentions of the defence, Thakur argued that the statements of Dulani are corroborated by the statements of other witnesses and also the FSL reports, which confirmed that blood stains collected from the vehicle and the hotel, where the hunted animals had been taken for cleaning and cooking, were those of chinkaras.
“We are trying to link all these circumstantial evidences to prove that Khan had killed the chinkaras. None of the evidences or witnesses had been planted but have naturally been pointing to the corroboration of the statements of Dulani,” Thakur argued.
The forest department had registered a case of poaching of two black bucks on October 1-2, 1998 at village Kankani in Jodhpur.
During recording of the statements of Dulani, who happened to be at the steering of the vehicle of Khan, the forest officials had got to know about two more similar incidents which had taken place on 26-27 and 28-29 September, 1998 at Bhawad and Mathania respectively.
The forest department had then registered two more cases of poaching against Khan, which was objected to by the defence stating that the prosecution was relying on the statements of such witnesses who were never available for examination. The prosecution will continue its arguments on next Tuesday.