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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Bail for cricket star 'poacher'
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
Mr Pataudi is considered one of India's greatest cricketers
Former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who is charged with poaching, has been granted bail in the northern state of Haryana.

He was ordered to pay a personal bond of around $1,100 (50,000 rupees).

Mr Pataudi, who evaded arrest for more than a week, surrendered on Saturday to prosecutors in the city of Jhajjar.

He denies the charge of killing a black buck - a protected species of antelope - earlier this month in contravention of Indian wildlife laws.

High blood pressure

Mr Pataudi comes from an aristocratic background and is regarded as one of India's greatest cricketers.

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison with a maximum fine of 25,000 rupees ($570).

He has been questioned for the last two days by police and has been taken to the site of the alleged crime.

Black buck
It is illegal to hunt black buck antelope in India

On Monday morning he was taken to his residence in Delhi's upmarket Vasant Vihar locality, where police reportedly recovered documents of a vehicle which they believe was used in the alleged black buck hunt.

Mr Pataudi was examined by doctors over the weekend after he complained of discomfort in his chest.

Confirming that he was suffering from high blood pressure, doctors have advised him to take complete bed rest.

A second suspect, who police say was the hunting party's guide, has also been arrested.

Six other suspects remain at large, police say.

The case has created intense interest in India.

Mr Pataudi - nicknamed Tiger - played 46 Test matches between 1961 and 1975 and became the world's youngest national captain at 21. He led India to their first ever Test win.

Wildlife campaigners say that although poaching is illegal in India, hunting remains popular.

They say that because police tend to ignore expeditions by the rich, famous or powerful, efforts to conserve protected animals are often hampered.

Mr Pataudi's son, the leading Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, and his fellow star, Salman Khan, are still facing charges, which they deny, of killing a black buck in 1998.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the type of antelope Mr Pataudi is accused of killing




SEE ALSO:
Fugitive cricket star surrenders
18 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Fugitive cricket star denied bail
14 Jun 05 |  South Asia
Pataudi is charged with poaching
06 Jun 05 |  South Asia


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