New Delhi: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Thursday that the five-year jail term to Bollywood superstar Salman Khan by a Jodhpur court for killing two blackbucks in October 1998 was 'discriminatory'.
In an interview to Pakistan's Geo TV, he also said that the actor had been sentenced because he was a 'minority'.
The court acquitted Salman's colleagues Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the "benefit of the doubt". After the order, the 52-year-old was whisked away in a Bolero police jeep to spend a night in jail.
This is his fourth stint in the Jodhpur Central Jail. Salman had earlier spent a total of 18 days in the jail in 1998, 2006 and 2007, all for cases of poaching.
As the sentence is more than three years, Salman will have to appeal in a higher court for bail. Final arguments, in this case, were completed in the trial court on March 28, after which Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri had reserved his judgment.
Salman is accused of shooting and killing the blackbucks, from the antelope family, in Kankani village near Jodhpur on the night of October 1, 1998, during the shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.
Blackbuck is an endangered animal and included in the schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act-1972.
All the actors were in a Gypsy that night with Salman in the driving seat, he spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them, prosecution lawyer Mahipal Bishnoi said.
(With PTI inputs)