Salman case: Bishnois unhappy with Maha CM, seek apology for ‘defaming’ community

Mumbai: Days after Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s Bandra home was targeted by the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is now under fire from the enraged Bishnoi community.

Members of the community have taken to social media, countering CM Shinde and expressed outrage over his purported remarks to “eliminate” the (Bishnoi) gangsters and vowed to protect the actor and his family from any future hits.

“Anybody who threatens the existence of the Bishnoi community must say sorry to us. Eknath Shinde Tender an Apology,” said an X campaign launched yesterday, which got over 16,000 views, likes, forwards and comments.

The Bishnois, who are a Hindu sect and nature-lovers, are sprinkled across northern and north-western parts of India, and have been opposing Salman Khan since the blackbuck poaching incident of 1998.

On Tuesday, Shinde was received by Khans in the lobby of Galaxy Apartments, facing the Arabian Sea, and then escorted to the actor’s sprawling first-floor residence where he interacted freely with the entire family.

After spending some time with Khans, the CM emerged and assured the media that contrary to speculation in some quarters, “there is no gang (war) in Mumbai”.

Under the MahaYuti government, he said that the mafia has no (place) in Mumbai and said that protecting the family of Salman Khan is the duty of the police and the responsibility of the state government.

“I have assured Salman Khan and his family that we are with them. We will crush this (Lawrence) Bishnoi gang so that no one will dare to repeat such an act in Mumbai. The safety of Salman Khan is our job,” asserted CM Shinde.

On April 14, two unknown assailants opened at least five rounds at the home of Salman Khan before speeding off on their motorcycle from there, using multiple getaway modes and escape routes.

The duo – later identified as Vicky Gupta, 24 and Sagar Pal, 23 – fled to Gujarat, in the Pakistan-bordering Kachchh district’s Bhuj town,

Using tech intelligence and local field sources, they were nabbed in a joint operation of the Gujarat and Mumbai Police, cracking the case in barely 36 hours.

The shooters were brought to Mumbai on Tuesday and produced before a Magistrate Court which has remanded them to police custody till April 25.

Among other things, the interrogation of the accused has revealed the conspiracy of the shoot-out, the planning from a flat which served as a base camp in Navi Mumbai’s Panvel – where the Khans also own a sprawling country house, Arpita Farms.

Gupta and Pal also claimed they junked the guns into some water bodies in south Gujarat. The accused revealed how they were instructed to fire a dozen rounds to virtually terrorise the family of the actor – who has run afoul of the Bishnoi community for over 25 years now.

Simultaneously, Anmol Bishnoi, the brother of the jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, posted a social media note informing Salman Khan to treat it as “the first and final warning”, sending shudders down Bollywood which has witnessed many similar incidents in the past.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at both Salman Khan’s Mumbai home and Panvel (Raigad) farmhouse, but there is no official reaction from the government, ruling Shiv Sena, or the Khan family to the Bishnoi social media campaign so far.

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