New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: National Forest Martyrs Day is observed in India on September 11 every year to remember the sacrifice of those who laid their lives to protect the forests and wildlife across the remote corners of the country.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest made the declaration in 2013 and since then, people across India observe National Forest Martyrs Day every year on September 11 to pay tributes to the valour and sacrifice made the forest personnel to protect the forests and wildlife of India.

Why National Forest Martyrs Day is celebrated on September 11?

The National Forest Martyrs Day is observed to commemorate the Khejarli massacre, which took place on September 11 in 1730. During the massacre, Rajasthan’s Maharaja Abhay Singh started cutting the Khejarli trees, which were considered as a sacred tree in the Bishnoi community in Khejarli village in Rajasthan.

A woman, reportedly named Amrita Devi stood up in resistance and offered her head instead of Khejarli trees. The army of Abhay Singh beheaded her and her three daughters who stood up in resistance after their mother. The decapitation continued with 359 more men from the Bishnoi community beheaded by the army before the news of the massacre reached the king himself.  

When Abhay Singh heard the dreadful news, he immediately ordered his men to stop the cutting of the trees and honoured the courage of the Bishnoi community. The King also apologised to the community and issued a decree engraved on a copper plate to prohibit the cutting of Khejarli trees and hunting of animals within and near Bishnoi villages forever.

Posted By: Talib Khan