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Blackbucks poaching case: Simi Garewal insinuates Salman Khan is protecting someone

The veteran actress believes that the actor has taken the blame for someone’s else crime.

Mayur Lookhar

Conspiracy theories over actor Salman Khan's role in the 1998 blackbucks poaching case have been floated around for 20 years. One of them was brought out in the public by veteran actress Simi Garewal who believes that Salman has perhaps taken the blame to protect a colleague from his film, Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999).

Salman was received warmly after returning from Jodhpur after spending a couple of nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail. Khan, who has been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, was given bail on Friday. One of the key arguments that Khan’s lawyer Hastimal Saraswar put in front of the Jodhpur sessions court to seek his client’s bail was that how come all other co-accused got exonerated, while only Khan was convicted. He asked if his client had gone out at 2am shooting alone.

Co-accused Neelam Kothari, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Saif Ali Khan were acquitted in the case.

Garewal raised eyebrows when she tweeted that Salman was perhaps protecting someone.

"The charity, the generosity etc of @BeingSalmanKhan is irrelevant here. What is all-important is the fact that he did NOT pull the trigger! He did NOT commit the crime. He is protecting someone for silly emotional reasons. Even at a HUGE cost to himself,” tweeted Garewal.

The Twitter account is not verified, but we called at Garewal’s residence where her staffer confirmed that the tweet was indeed put out from her official handle. “Simi ji believes that Salman Khan has not done it. That is why she put out that tweet,” said the staff member.

A day earlier, Garewal had tweeted that Salman could never hurt an animal.

“Of one thing I am dead sure..@BeingSalmanKhan would NEVER EVER harm any animal. He loves them too much. The real culprit should be exposed. 20 years is too long to bear someone else's cross,” tweeted Garewal.

Since Garewal's tweets, speculation has been rife in the media and the public. One of the rumours doing the rounds is that Salman may be protecting one the female protagonists from the film.

The Bishnoi community members have always claimed that they saw Salman shooting the blackbucks. In his argument, judge Dev Kumar Khatri had found Salman guilty beyond reasonable doubt, based on the account given by the eye-witness.

Poonamchand Bishnoi, a local from the Bishnoi community, claimed Salman and his co-stars were on a hunting session in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village near Jodhpur when he was out to answer the nature's call. He heard gunshots and saw the headlights of a jeep. He noticed Salman and Saif in the front seats and Tabu, Kothari and Bendre in the backseats.

The next hearing is set for 7 May where Salman has been asked to be present.