After Salman Khan, Bollywood star Aamir Khan, whose views on Narmada dam oustees had raised the hackles in Gujarat, could be headed for trouble as state forest officials are probing if he had violated the Wildlife Act in Kutch during the shoot of Lagaan eight years ago.
Close on the heels of Gujarat police re-opening a chinkara hunting case against Salman, the forest officials in Kutch region have begun a detailed probe to find out if there had been violation of the Wildlife Act by Aamir when he was in the district in connection with filming of the movie, a senior forest department official informed.
In fact, a preliminary probe by forest officials has shown that "the producers did not take permission from the forest department for filming the endangered species and thus violated rules", he said.
Khan and his team were in parts of Kutch district for months for the shooting of Lagaan and he had created a big fan following among the locals.
"A detailed inquiry will be conducted and statements of all concerned people will be taken. Preliminary probe has revealed that the producers did not take permission from the forest department to film the chinkara. Some forest department officials will also be questioned," Kutch forest officials investigating the case said.
The official said even though no animal was harmed in any way during the filming process the producers and some officials had broken the rules and moreover, the footage taken was used for commercial purpose.
"If the filming was done in connection with a documentary or wildlife film, then there was no issue but since the film and the footage of the chinkara was used for commercial purpose then it is not allowed," the official said.
Regarding possible action against Aamir, the official said "it is premature to say if or not action could be taken against him. First, we have to see who all were present when the footage was taken and then we will take statements of the concerned people and then decide".
He said that in the preliminary probe a forest beat guard, who had taken the production team to film the chinkara, had said that he only led them the spot and was not aware how and what they filmed.
"It is an eight-year-old case and somebody should have done something about it many years ago. Let us see what evidence can be gathered before deciding on course of action," the official said.
Salman Khan, who has been convicted and sentenced to jail in two poaching cases in Rajasthan, has more to worry as the Gujarat CID on June 21 decided to reopen a case against him for allegedly killing a chinkara in Kutch district in 1998 during the shooting for movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
Gujarat forest officials had probed these allegations but had closed the case for lack of evidence.
However, an NGO persuaded the matter and filed an application with the CID to probe the matter further.
The actor, who has found himself on the wrong side of the law for rash driving also, is accused of killing two of the endangered deer species in Samara village in 1998.