Superstar Salman Khan did not appear before a court in Rajasthan today in connection with the 20-year-old blackbuck poaching case. On Thursday, a court in Jodhpur had directed the actor to appear before it.
The Bollywood actor is not appearing before the court citing security concerns after a death threat issued by a gangster last week, sources said. He said he is tied up with film shoots, his lawyer said. The threat, which had a photo of Salman Khan with a red cross, was posted on Facebook by an account named "Gary Shooter".
The District and Sessions Court in Jodhpur is hearing Salman Khan's appeal against a verdict that sentenced him to five years' in jail in the poaching case in April 2018. It will hear the case next on December 29.
Mr Khan is accused of hunting down two blackbucks along with fellow-actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Sonali Bendre during the shoot of the film "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in a Jodhpur village in September 1998.
The next month, members of the Bishnoi community, who worship antelopes, registered a complaint against him and his companions.
He was arrested on October 12, 1998, on charges of poaching endangered animals but subsequently granted bail. The other co-accused were released, with the court giving them benefit of doubt.
Salman Khan has not appeared before the court since May last year, when he was granted bail.
Security was stepped out near the court anticipating the actor's appearance today, the police said.
Mr Khan has been acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in two other poaching cases involving chinkaras (Indian gazelles).