Bollywood’s ‘Tiger’ Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in jail on Thursday for killing a blackbuck in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur during a film shooting in 1998.
It took 20 years for the court to provide justice to an animal already facing extinction due to excessive hunting, deforestation and habitat degradation.
The blackbuck that Salman killed is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope and is found in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Not only Salman Khan but we all are guilty for the plight the endangered species is facing in the country. Until independence, blackbucks were hunted with specially trained Asiatic Cheetah.
By the 1970s, the blackbucks were extinct in several parts of the country. However, the government then released the plight of the species and banned hunting of blackbuck under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The population of blackbuck, however, increased in India from 24,000 in the late 1970s to 50,000 in 2001.
Must Read | Blackbuck turns 'Tiger' into jailbird
Who are the Bishnois? Seven facts about the community
1. They are known as India’s original conservators.
2. Bishnois fought the poaching case for two decades. For them, animals are sacred and jungles are their temple.
3. Also known as Vishnoi and Prahladapanthi, Bishnoi is a Hindu sect found mostly in the western Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
4. The community was founded by Guru Jambheshwar in 1451 and follows his 29 principles.
5. One of the principles says “jeev daya palni, runkh lilo nahi dhave” which means to protect your trees and animals.
6. The Bishnois are the one who sacrificed their lives to save forests in 1730 when the king of Marwar, Maharaja Abhay Singh had ordered cutting Khejri trees for constructing a new palace.
7. Led by local leader Amrita Devi, 363 Bishnois sacrificed their lives in Khejdali village of Jodhpur to save the trees.