Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Actor's case files go missing in Gujarat

7 Aug 2007,
0154 hrs IST,
Rahul Mangaonkar,TNN

Is the Gujarat forest department shielding Bollywood actor Salman Khan in a 10-year-old blackbuck poaching case?

It would seem so, with the forest department refusing to share information with CID even after repeated requests. Vital documents, such as the department's investigation report and inquiry papers, have not been given, stating that they are lost and would be given when found.

Even Khan's statement, for which officials of the forest department had flown down to Mumbai, seems to have been lost, putting a big question mark on the forest department's motives.

It is believed that principal secretary, home department, Balwant Singh, has written to principal secretary, forests and environment, P N Roychoudhary, on this matter. CID might now take it as a case of destruction of evidence and lodge offences against forest officials.

Khan was accused of hunting blackbucks during the making of the film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam at Samrasar and Bhirandiara villages in Kutch in 1998.

The incident allegedly took place around the same time Khan was booked in a similar case near Jodhpur. But while Rajasthan made rapid progress with the case, Gujarat has been trailing behind with the investigations.


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