Why blackbucks are important to Bishnois who sent Salman Khan to jail

Bishnois of Jodhpur consider blackbuck to be reincarnation of their religious Guru Bhagwan Jambeshwar.

Twenty years after it happened, actor Salman Khan has been sentenced to five years in jail for killing two blackbucks in Rajasthan while shooting for Bollywood film Hum Saath Saath Hai.

The Bishnoi community has been instrumental in ferociously pursuing a conviction for the killings which they see as a grievous crime, not only towards the animal, but also to their belief.

Formed by Jammeshwarji Maharaj in 1542 AD, the Bishnois are known for their love for nature worship and wildlife conservation. A Bishnoi thus, will never tolerate the killing of wild animals or the cutting down of a tree.

The Bishnois of Jodhpur consider the blackbuck to be the reincarnation of their religious Guru Bhagwan Jambeshwar also known as Jambaji.

They have been known to make many sacrifices for the protection of animals, specially the endangered blackbuck. They can even sacrifice their lives to save this creature.

Blackbucks and chinkaras are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, but the Bishnois consider the former as sacred. They follow what is perhaps the world's only environment-friendly religion and recognise the rights of birds, animals and trees to live in peace and harmony with humans.

In 2016, over 1,700 people -- involved in wildlife crimes in Rajasthan -- were arrested due to the efforts of this community.

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