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Varun Dhawan, Subhash Ghai, others stand firm behind Salman Khan

While many from the industry chose to pitch its support to the convicted actor, a few believe that the actor's sentencing, though delayed, was justified.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

The conviction of Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case by the Jodhpur trial court arrived as a shock to the film industry in general. Yesterday (5 April), the actor was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and today (6 April), he appealed for bail at the sessions court. While the decision on his bail plea has been reserved till tomorrow (7 April), the Hindi film industry seems to have stepped up in support of the actor. 

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Arjun Rampal put out his comisserations to Khan through Twitter. While Rampal stated that the 'law should take its course', he added that the judgement 'feels too harsh'.

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Varun Dhawan, a close friend and fan of Khan, added his support to the actor. He said that Khan 'is one of the strongest and most genuine people I know and I'm sure he will come out of this stronger.'

Director Subhash Ghai too took the side of the Dabanng star, but said, 'having full trust in indian judiciary which has many other doors to appeal for final justice whatsoever.'

However, not everyone in the industry was on the actor's side. Singer Sona Mohapatra, known for her rebellious stands, justified the sentencing. She wrote, 'So, what new inane defence will Madhu Kishwar sprout now? Nafisa Ali? RJ Rishi Kannan? Will daddy say sorry on his behalf? What will the suck ups in the industry do? When's bail? When's the next block buster release? Dabangg [sic] 'concert' tour dates? Big Boss? Charity drives?'

Mohapatra's statement was synonymous with several public reactions which maintained that the actor's sentencing, though delayed, was justified. However, with an industry of Rs600 crore depending on the actor, it was unlikely that Hindi cinema would balk from supporting Khan.

Veteran actress Nafisa Ali and Simi Garewal were among those from an earlier generation who looked kindly on the convicted actor.

Both actresses seemed to imply that Khan was taking the fall for someone else. While he was accused of being at the hunt alongside Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam Kothari, and Sonali Bendre, it was only Salman who was convicted.

Actor Kabir Bedi also outlined that the sentence seemed too harsh, and must be appealed against.

Rohit Roy, and Pakistani actress Mawra Hocane were also among the supporters.

While Sonakshi Sinha was spotted arriving at Khan's residence late last night, few of his peers expressed their opinion on the decision. Khan is expected to spend one more day in custody, before the decision on his bail plea is delivered tomorrow.