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A sizable memorial is being built by the Bishnoi tribe in the Kankani village of Rajasthan's Jodhpur area in memory of the blackbuck that Bollywood actor Salman Khan killed 24 years ago. The residents of this community believe that deer are essential to their survival and see animals as an extension of themselves.

In the same location as the deer's death, a large monument and an animal rescue facility are being built. In Kankani village, at a distance of around 7 bighas, the memorial will be constructed (a small portion of land). A large 3-foot-tall, 800-kg black deer statue constructed of cement and iron bars will be built there, along with a facility for the care of animals and birds.

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The deer statue is prepared to be installed at the Kakani village temple. The locals used funds raised from Kankani village residents to complete the construction of the temple. The statue at Jodhpur's Siwanchi Gate was created in 15 days by local sculptor Shankar. The statue's horns come from the original deer. The horns were made from the remains of dead deer in the forest.

The temple, according to the residents, is being constructed to promote animal protection for future generations. They will be reminded to safeguard animals by the temple.

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Speaking to ANI, Former MP and representative of Bishnoi Samaj Jaswant Singh Bishnoi said, "Deer is our identity and it is necessary for them to survive. After the construction of the temple, we will pass our learning of Guru Jambhoji Maharaj to the next generation. Jambhoji Maharaj said that "sar kate rukh bache to bhi sasta jaan", which means that even if the head is cut off, the youth of Bishnoi samaj should be ready to save the environment, trees and animals at any cost."

"When Guru Jambheshwar established the Bishnoi society, it was said in the code of conduct that the person who will sacrifice his life for the protection of trees and animals will get a place at the feet of Guru Jambheshwar. In Kankani village, 363 people sacrificed their lives to protect the trees," he added.

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Hanuman Ram Vishnoi, a local villager, claimed that since Salman killed a blackbuck at this location, locals have been calling for the construction of an animal protection temple in order to teach others how to do the same.

Ramniwas Bishnoi, a social worker said, "The youths of the village have decided to make a temple. Tourists who come to visit always ask for the place where Salman killed the blackbuck. Now the youths are building a temple at the same place."

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The Jodhpur Court authorised the Bollywood actor's release on bail in relation to the Blackbuck poaching case. For the theft of two chinkaras in Bhawad village on September 26–27, 1998, and one chinkara in Mathania on September 28, 1998, Salman Khan was charged under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.

After being found guilty of murdering two blackbucks in Jodhpur while filming "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in 1998, Salman was given a five-year prison sentence. Actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam, and Sonali Bendre, the other four defendants, were cleared of all charges.

An earlier plea by the Rajasthan government that claimed Salman Khan had submitted a fake affidavit pertaining to the Arms Act in the blackbuck poaching case was dismissed by the Jodhpur District and Sessions Court.

(With ANI inputs)

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