High alert around Gir range on poaching anniversary
Indian Express By Sibte Hussain Bukhari
Junagadh, February 28 The forest department has geared up to check incidents of poaching in and around the
According to BP Pati, deputy conservator of forest (Gir west), “A high alert has been sounded in and around the Gir forest. Apart from regular check post, three more permanent checkposts have been erected on three different strategically important points.”
It was on March 3, 2007 that the carcasses of three lions were found in the forest. The lions were killed by poachers in the Babaria range falling under
In an open defiance to security clamped by the state government, poachers repeated their dastardly act 26 days later. On March 29, three more lions were killed in the same area of the forest sending the forest department into a tizzy. And before the department could chalk out any action plan to check such incidents, two more lions were killed on April 12 — this time in the revenue area, on the outskirts of Bhandariya village near Jesar town in
An stung forest department was really clueless about the whole affair even as Chief Minister Narendra Modi air-dashed to Sasan — the prime hub of lions — to take stock of the situation. Call it a result if a relentless effort or sheer chance, the day the chief minister visited Sasan, the Junagadh police nabbed 21 alleged poachers, including seven women, allegedly responsible for the Gir incidents. Later, the Bhavanagar police also arrested 17 people, including seven women, while they were planning their escape. All of them belonged to the Parghi tribes from Madhya Pradesh’s Katni district. Poaching is their main occupation. All of them are still in custody and their bail pleas have been repeatedly rejected — first by the trial court and then on January, 2008 by the Gujarat High Court.
When contacted, conservator of forest (wildlife)
“Soon, 100 more people would be added to this group. A series of village meetings have been organised as a part of people’s awareness programme and village heads have been asked to keep extra vigil in their respective area,” he said.
JS Solanki, deputy conservator of the forest (Gir East), said: “We will not allow the repetition of the last year’s incident. Random checking at any place surrounding the