Praise India for Punishing Celebrity Guilty of Illegal Hunting

Target: Pradeep Nandrajog, Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court

Goal: Praise Indian court for protecting wildlife animals and holding illegal hunters accountable.

A famous Bollywood star in India has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined $153 for poaching a species of protected Indian antelope. It is believed that the actor, Salman Khan, and four other actors were present in the car during the incident in 1998, but fled when caught, leaving the dead animals behind. The other actors were found not guilty due to lack of evidence.

Without a special permit, most wildlife species are off limits to hunters in India. Khan was arrested for hunting two antelopes and three other gazelles, and eight years later, he was convicted of killing the antelopes. The charges hung over him for the next decade, but in 2016, he was found not guilty of poaching the gazelles. The allegations first came from a witness who wrote down the vehicle number as it sped away from the scene. In 2018, finally, Khan was found guilty of illegal poaching.

Because of his status and affluence, Khan continues to be showered with affection from his fans. Although he has a history in court for drunken misbehavior, domestic abuse, and a fatal hit-and-run, his male followers empathize with him, claiming that he is only a human male who makes mistakes. This is a toxic attitude, but sentencing him to prison and issuing a fine signals that not even celebrities should walk free if they violate wildlife laws. Sign the petition below to praise the Rajasthan High Court for protecting wildlife and enforcing laws regardless of status.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Justice Nandrajog,

Salman Khan, a famous Bollywood actor, has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined for illegal hunting in 1998. While filming a scene, Khan (and allegedly several other actors) killed the animals, which were then a vulnerable and protected species. While the other actors were acquitted, Khan is going to pay the price for harming wildlife.

Celebrities should not be given a free pass when it comes to following wildlife regulations. Although Khan’s fans still adore him after allegations and instances of domestic abuse, drunken misbehavior, a fatal hit-and-run, and illegal poaching, I am glad that the court is serving justice for wrongly killed animals. I applaud your efforts in enforcing wildlife laws, even for citizens of high social and economic status. With this guilty verdict, India demonstrates that it does not tolerate illegal hunting and will do what it takes to protect wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Dupont