Bishnoi community celebrates

Bishnoi community celebrates

The Bishnoi Sabha, a community committed to protect the blackbucks, celebrated Salman Khan's conviction and decided to appeal against other acquittals.

A group of Bishnois assembled outside the Jodhpur court and raised celebratory slogans and distributed sweets.

"It's the victory of our community and its values. We don't hold anything against the actor but everyone should be treated equal before the law. It's our rigorous hard work of the last 20 years that is bearing fruit. Why only us? Everyone should be a environment lover," said Ramniwas, general secretary of Bishnoi tiger force who was leading the group outside the court.

Villagers in Bhagoda ki Dhani in Kankani village, where the poaching had taken place, assembled on Thursday afternoon near the 'Makbara of Chinkara', a piece of land where the Bishnois had buried the blackbuck after its postmortem.

Mahipal Bishnoi, the prosecution counsel, who was fighting the case for the Bishnois said, "All the actors were in a Gypsy car on the night of October 1, 1998, with Salman in the driving seat. He spotted a herd of blackbucks and killed two of them. We respect the court's judgement. We will also appeal against other acquittals to ensure they are also booked".

The Bishnoi sect was formed by Jammeshwarji Maharaj in 1542 AD and is known for its beliefs associated with nature worship and wildlife conservation.

They have been known to make many sacrifices for the protection of animals, especially the endangered blackbuck.

Blackbucks and chinkaras are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, but the Bishnois consider the former sacred and as the incarnation of their Guru Jambeshwar.

Bishnois claim to be world's only environment-friendly religion. They recognise the rights of birds, animals and trees to live in peace and harmony with humans.

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