Salman Khan the top target of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi for the actor’s black buck poaching conviction

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has been the top target of Lawrence Bishnoi, the gangster who is now being interrogated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it has been revealed. An aide of Bishnoi was arrested today by Delhi Police after years of eluding the law.

Lawrence Bishnoi has told his interrogators that he wanted to kill Salman Khan because the latter had poached two black bucks, a species sacred to the Bishnoi community. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@LawrenceBishn14

Reports have emerged that Bishnoi, a gangster who is now in Tihar Jail and is named in dozens of cases, wanted to kill Salman for the latter’s involvement in the black buck hunting case that began in 1998. Salman was convicted in April 2018 of poaching (illegally killing) two black bucks, an endangered species that is also considered sacred by the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan.

Salman has received several death threats at various points of time and has been given Y+ category security by Mumbai Police. The latest threat came on April 11 this year.

Shortly before that, a man was arrested for sending a threatening e-mail to the actor. This e-mail said that Salman would meet the “same fate” as Punjabi-Canadian rapper Siddhu Moose Wala, who was killed in May 2022.

Salman Khan spent only six days of his five-year prison sentence in the black buck case, after his conviction in April 2018. He had earlier been convicted of running over a person sleeping on the pavement, but had the conviction overturned just months later, in Dec 2015. Photo courtesy: Instagram/beingsalmankhan

One of the death threats to Salman came from Goldy Brar, an associate of Lawrence Bishnoi. It has been revealed now that aside from Salman, one of the top targets for the Lawrence Bishnoi gang was the manager of Siddhu Moose Wala.

Siddhu Moose Wala was shot dead when Lawrence was in Tihar Jail, but he still became the main suspect because of the reach of his gang. The interrogation of Lawrence has revealed his connections to a global network of criminal associates and weapons suppliers. Being in jail does not appear to have slowed down his operations, because he has so many people on the outside.

The three people who are now under the spotlight after the NIA interrogation are: a US-based person named Darman Kahlon, a weapons supplier for the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, especially of Türkish Zigana pistols; a Delhi-origin person, Manish Bhandari, now a club owner and money launderer in Thailand; and an unnamed Canadian who also launders the money made through extortion by the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. Lookout circulars have been issued for them.

There are also weapons dealers in northern India who have been supplying guns to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang. Indeed, dozens of pistols were ordered and received by the gang while Lawrence was in jail. According to what Lawrence told the NIA, his associate, Goldy Brar, received consignments of pistols through his underlings. These weapons were used in a range of criminal activities, including murders and death threats such as those issued to Salman.

Salman’s conviction in the black buck poaching case came two decades after the crime, while four other accused Bollywood actors — Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Sonali Bendre, and Tabu — were acquitted.

Salman was given a five-year prison sentence by the Jodhpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. In fact, three years earlier, in May 2015, Salman was convicted of killing a person sleeping on a pavement while driving in Mumbai in an intoxicated state, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Out of all this, Salman spent only six days in prison for the black buck poaching conviction. Then his sentence was suspended. His conviction in the run-over case was overturned upon appeal and he was acquitted in December 2015.