Friday, December 08, 2017

Long term plan to increase number of tigers, leopards in State: CM

06/12/2017

Long term plan to increase number of tigers, leopards in State: CM
The Hitavada THE PEOPLE'S PAPER

http://thehitavada.com/Encyc/2017/12/6/Long-term-plan-to-increase-number-of-tigers,-leopards-in-State--CM.aspx

Staff Reporter,

Tigers to be kept in Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary

Five percent amount obtained from the non-forest works under State's protected areas will be deposited in Tiger Foundation Society. This amount will be used to undertake works of conservation and promotion of forests and wildlife. State's tigers will be kept in Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary.


These decisions were taken at a meeting of State Wildlife Board chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday. Forest Minister Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar was also present on the occasion.

CM said, during the meeting that a long term plan should be made to increase the number of tigers and leopards in State. Stern action should be taken in incidents of illegal hunting of tigers and death of tigers due to electrocution. Forest Department should consider tiger conservation with integrity. Efforts should be made to stop loss of life due to their entry in residential areas. Efforts should be made to increase grassland for conservation of Kharmore and Son Chiraiyya. Consider handing over the work of gas cylinder refill of Ujjwala Yojana in Vangrams to forest committees.


It was informed, in meeting that a notification of 21 eco-sensitive zones in protected areas of the State was released. A proposal for upgradation of Bithoula to Gokulpur Marg and Girwai to Tilli Factory Marg in Gwalior District's Ghatigaon area has been approved. Approval has been given to construct speed breakers in areas of Tiger crossings to avoid accidents of wild animals on road. Construction of rural road from Vineka to Borpani under Ratapani sanctuary was approved. Similiarly construction of Nirawali-Mohna road in Ghatigaon area has been approved.
Meanwhile, preparations are on for Tiger Census of 2018 in State. As many as 144 eco-tourism areas have been selected in State. About 1,000 people are connected in State with the close to my heart programme being run for wildlife conservation. For this a donation of Rs 300 has to be made.


Additional Chief Secretary Forests Deepak Khandekar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Animesh Shukla, non-government members of Wildlife Board and concerned officials were present on the occasion.

 

Bhopal: Sick of waiting, state decides to populate Palpur with tigers

06/12/2017

Bhopal: Sick of waiting, state decides to populate Palpur with tigers

THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL

http://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-sick-of-waiting-state-decides-to-populate-palpur-with-tigers/1182436

Bhopal: With Gujarat persistently refusing to allow translocation of lions from Gir National Park to MP's Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary, the state government has decided to populate the sanctuary with tigers. The decision was taken at a meeting of MP Wildlife Board presided over by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday.

Tigers cannot be translocated without the permission of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Sources said that the wildlife board has decided to go ahead with the decision without NTCA nod. Despite the Supreme Court ordering shifting of lions from Gir to Kuno-Palpur, the Gujarat government is not ready to part with its lions. The state government has not approached SC with a contempt petition in the matter. The SC has issued notices to union government and Gujarat government on a petition filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey. The petition has yet to come up for hearing. Madhya Pradesh has been trying to shift Gir lions to the state since long.

As chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had refused to allow translocation of lions. After Modi becoming the Prime Minister, the state government put the issue on the backburner. The government has spent millions on developing Kuno-Palpur for the lions. Many villages were relocated from inside the park.

2 kids attacked by tigers in my constituency: CM

At the meeting, the chief minister said that tough action should be taken against poachers of big cat. He said that urgent steps need to be taken to combat incidents of tigers being electrocuted or killed by other means. He said that the forest department should do everything needed for protecting tigers. But he said that the other side of the coin should also not be ignored. In his constituency Budhni, Chouhan said, tigers had attacked and injured two children. He said that five per cent of the amount spent on non-forestry projects executed within reserve forest areas should be deposited in the account of Tiger Foundation. At the meeting, wildlife experts said that with roads being constructed inside forests, tigers have started foraying into the urban areas.

 

Gujarat’s no to share lions prompts Madhya Pradesh to climb down

06/12/2017

Gujarat's no to share lions prompts Madhya Pradesh to climb down

The indianEXPRESS

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarats-no-to-share-lions-prompts-madhya-pradesh-to-climb-down-4969931/

UNABLE TO get lions from Gujarat despite an order from the Supreme Court, the Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Board on Tuesday recommended release of tigers in the Kuno Palpur sanctuary created to provide an alternate home to the Asiatic lion.

 

The translocation project was conceived in the 1990s at the instance of the Wildlife Institute of India. The Gujarat government raised several objections and after a protracted legal battle, the apex court in 2013 ruled that some lions be shifted from Gir in Gujarat.

 

In 2014, the apex court threw out a curative petition, the last legal recourse available before Gujarat to stall the translocation. More than three years later, the order is yet to be followed, with the Gujarat government coming out with one reason or the other to scuttle the translocation.

 

When the state wildlife board meet began on Tuesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan recommended that tigers be shifted from other areas because the 700-odd sq km sanctuary has remained unutilised.

 

Additional chief secretary (forest) Deepak Khandekar told The Indian Express that a male tiger has already been spotted at Kuno Palpur and efforts will be made to release a tigress. He said the board's recommendation, taken at the instance of the chief minister, was independent of the efforts to translocate lions from Gujarat. Asiatic lions are found only in Gir.

 

Wildlife activist Ajay Dubey, who has filed a contempt petition in the apex court citing undue delay in compliance, said the state wildlife board's decision amounted to contempt. The apex court had on November 14 issued notices to the Gujarat government and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

 

Accusing Chief Minister Chouhan of betrayal, Dubey said he would move the court again to make the MP government a party in the contempt petition. The activist alleged that the BJP government in the state deliberately climbed down to allow the party-ruled government in Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to score brownie points ahead of the assembly elections. The MP wildlife board's recommendation will create an impression that Gujarat has won the battle and scuttled translocation to protect its USP, he said.

 

Tired of Gujarat reluctance on Gir lions, MP to release tigers in Kuno

05/12/2017

Tired of Gujarat reluctance on Gir lions, MP to release tigers in Kuno

THE TIMES OF INDIA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/tired-of-gujarat-reluctance-on-gir-lions-mp-to-release-tigers-in-kuno/articleshow/61937836.cms

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh seems to have given up the ambitious Asiatic lion translocation programme from Gir lion sanctuary in Gujarat to Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in MP.
 


After nearly two-decades of unsuccessful tussle with Gujarat over translocation of Gir lions to Kuno-Palpur sanctuary near Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday unofficially gave up hope on the project.
 


A Supreme Court order mandating the translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir sanctuary to Kuno-Palpur in MP could not move the Gujarat government from parting with the big cat.
 


Diluting its claim on the programme, MP government decided to release and rehabilitate tigers in the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary which they claim is ready.

"As the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary is ready to rehabilitate the big cats, we will now release tigers in the park," announced chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during State Wildlife Board meeting, hinting at a possible failure in getting the Asiatic lions from neighbouring state.
 


Chouhan's decision came in the view of the delay by the Gujarat government. Both the states are BJP-ruled and Gujarat government considered the lions as 'heritage of the state'. The leaders had also maintained that a decision of handing over lions would turn into a big political issue in Gujarat.

"A writ petition was filed in 1995 by the Centre for Environment Law and World Wildlife Fund India (WWF-I) in the Supreme Court to get the Gujarat government release 19 Asiatic lions for the Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary. The Supreme Court fast-tracked the case and delivered a judgement on April 16, 2013, permitting the reintroduction of lions to Kuno, over-ruling the objections of the Gujarat government. But, the order is yet to be complied," said a senior officer of MP Wildlife.
 


When contacted, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Animesh Shukla and PCCF (Wild Life) Jitendra Agrawal did not respond to the calls.

Sources said the decision to release tigers in Kuno-Palpur sanctuary clearly indicated that Madhya Pradesh government has given up hope on getting Gir lions from Gujarat.

 


"This is clear from the statement that Madhya Pradesh will not get Asiatic lions against Gujarat's will. Ironically, Asiatic lion is the nation's pride and do not belong to only one state. The decision to translocate the big cat was based on scientific research and to save the species from extinction as the single population faces threats of epidemics, natural disasters and other anthropogenic factors", retired IFS and wildlife expert Jagdish Chandra told TOI.

 


Officials said that Madhya Pradesh government had notified and evacuated 345 sq km area for Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in 1981 and an additional 900 sq km of buffer zone was created in 2015 but, have made no mention of notifying the buffer zone area as a sanctuary, which is being contended by Gujarat government.

Sources said, wildlife experts and officials of the ministry of environment and forests in a reversal position have also anticipated that without notifying the areas as a sanctuary, it would be detrimental to the breeding and survival of the lions as they lived in social prides.

 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Madhya Pradesh at fault over delay in shifting of Gir lions

22/11/2017

Madhya Pradesh at fault over delay in shifting of Gir lions

THE TIMES OF INDIA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/madhya-pradesh-at-fault-over-delay-in-shifting-of-gir-lions/articleshow/61751272.cms

BHOPAL: It is none other than delay in notification of Kuno wildlife sanctuary as a national park that has hampered the project of shifting Gir lions to Madhya Pradesh.

At the sixth meeting of the expert committee on translocation of Asiatic lions, the MP government was asked to notify the area by February 2017, but to no avail. This was the last condition imposed by a Supreme Court-appointed committee.

In January this year, Gujarat's forest department had placed its objections before this 12-member committee and demanded that 36 studies be completed before the endangered Gir lions can be transferred to MP. "Converting this wildlife sanctuary into a national park was the last condition MP was asked to comply with.

But they didn't. Both MP and Gujarat governments are delaying procedural formalities," alleged RTI activist Ajay Dubey, who has filed a contempt petition against both governments for "undue delay in compliance of Supreme Court's order in shifting of lions".

Issues like prey base, habitat, vegetation and weather are said to be conductive for shifting of lions to Kuno. The MP forest department had promised to complete all formal processes of declaring Kuno as a 'national park' by the end of February, but failed to do so following varied administrative problems, aid sources. The expert committee had visited Kuno last December.

After spending nearly five hours at the sanctuary, the panel members had found the atmosphere in Kuno-Palpur suitable for shifting of lions. Gujarat, too, could not question much on MP's preparedness to host the lions, sources said.

Gujarat government had moved a curative petition in Supreme Court as its last legal resort to retain its Asiatic lions. It was dismissed.
 


When shortage of prey base was cited as one of the major objections, the state declared 700 sq km as a protected area to resolve the issue. Sources said the prey base, which was presented before the court in 2013, was nearly 350 sq. km, which is the core sanctuary area.

While MP won the eight-year-long legal battle with Gujarat in 2013, the latter had been dilly-dallying compliance.
 


Madhya Pradesh had been trying to mollify Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, after the loss Gujarat might feel following the Supreme Court directive for relocation of Asiatic Lions from Gujarat's Gir sanctuary to Kuno-Palpur sanctuary.

MP government circles had gone to the extent of suggesting that they were not averse to retaining the tag of 'Gir' or 'Gujarat' to identify the relocated lions at their new home in Kuno-Palpur.

 

The move for relocation of big cats, first mooted in 2000, had been hanging fire ever since because Gujarat had steadfastly refused to part with the majestic lions since that state held the unique distinction of being home to the natural habitat of the only surviving Asiatic lions.

 

While conservationists insisted that diversifying the lions' habitat would ward off any natural, medical or man-made calamity that could wipe out the entire population of Gir's lions, Gujarat treated the issue as a matter of pride and wanted to retain its unique status to continue to attract the substantial tourist inflow to Gir.

 

After the Supreme Court finally resolved the issue in favour of relocation, Gujarat is left with little choice but to comply.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rajkot NGO joins lion translocation tussle in Supreme Court

20/11/2017

Rajkot NGO joins lion translocation tussle in Supreme Court

THE TIMES OF INDIA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/rajkot-ngo-joins-lion-translocation-tussle-in-sc/articleshow/61716935.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Supreme Court has allowed an NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust, Rajkot, to join a contempt petition filed by Ajay Dubey, a wildlife activist from Madhya Pradesh. Dubey has challenged the non-implementation of the SC order given in 2013, directing translocation of lions from Sasan Gir to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh.

The NGO has submitted that translocation of any wild animal, as defined in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, cannot be undertaken without the specific approval of the state. Citing behavioural concerns of lions the petitioner submitted that to order translocation without considering pride behaviour may act counterproductive to to survival of the big cats.

Tushar Gokani, advocate for the petitioner said, "We had during the hearing in the apex court sought permission and the court has permitted the trust to file an impleadment application in the contempt petition which is going on in the apex court." The apex court had issued notice to Gujarat government and has listed the petition for hearing in January.

Gokani further said the trust has also filed a fresh petition. That petition was listed for hearing on Friday, but since Madhya Pradesh wanted more time to submit some documents, the matter will now be listed after 10 weeks.

 

The NGO has submitted that Gujarat state has tried to put forward several arguments before the expert committee formed by the order of the Supreme Court dated April 15 this year, but the committee which was bound by the directions given in the judgement, was not willing to hear any arguments against translocation.

 

The petitioner organization has raised concerns of animal behaviour and submitted that the court has been misguided on the issue of status of lions. The petitioner said the status of the Asiatic Lion was not critically endangered, but that according to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature it has been listed as endangered species.

 

The petitioner demanded that the Supreme Court should consider that under Wildlife Protection Act, 1935, the Chief Wildlife Warden, the state government and Central government are appropriate authorities to decide on translocation of any species.


SC notice to govt over contempt plea

15/11/2017

SC notice to govt over contempt plea

THE TIMES OF INDIA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/sc-notice-to-govt-over-contempt-plea/articleshow/61650317.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Supreme court acting on a contempt petition filed by wildlife activists from Madhya Pradesh has issued notices to the government of India and Gujarat government. The petitioner, Ajay Dubey has challenged the non-implementation of the apex court order of April 2013, directing translocation of lions to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh from Sasan Gir in Gujarat, and has sought action against the Union government and state government of Gujarat.

"We welcome the court's decision. Translocation of lions is not only important for the environment but also for the poor people in Sheopur. They will get a new source of livelihood," said Dubey after the notices were issued.

The petition was taken up for hearing in October and was listed on Tuesday. "We argued in the court today, and the court after hearing the counsel issued notices to the Gujarat government and the government of India. The notice is returnable in four days. The hearing will now take place in January," said Varun K Chopra, the advocate appearing for the petitioners in the Supreme Court.

Madhya Pradesh's hopes of getting Asiatic lions to its land had faded after Narendra Modi, the proud custodian of Gir lions, moved from Gandhinagar to Delhi. But in another blow to MP's hopes, two Gujarat-based NGOs, too, had filed separate petitions challenging translocation of lions to Kuno.

 

Dubey has highlighted the wilful non-compliance of the apex court order of April 15, 2013. The said order directed the respondents to constitute an expert committee to oversee and ensure re-introduction of Asiatic lions from Gir forest to Kuno Palpur. The respondents have not taken any action to implement the directions of the court and have instead raised technical objections challenging the very rationale of the directions, the petitioner submitted.

 

The petitioner submitted that Gujarat has in the expert committee meeting raised a contention that prey density at Kuno is not adequate. The Supreme Court in its order has stated that several prey density surveys have been conducted by various experts, WII and the government of Madhya Pradesh, including in 2004-2005, 2008 and 2012 surveys and the prey density was higher than the existing prey base in Gir.

 


The government of Gujarat in a letter to the expert committee has contended that the presence of tigers in the occupied area at Kuno is one of the major obstacles for the translocation project. However according to Dr Asad Rehmani of Bombay Natural History Society, sporadic presence of tigers in Kuno is in no case detrimental to reintroduction of lions, the petitioner has submitted before the apex court.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Bhopal: Clarify stand on Asiatic lions: SC tells Gujarat, MoEF

15/11/2017

Bhopal: Clarify stand on Asiatic lions: SC tells Gujarat, MoEF

THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL

http://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-clarify-stand-on-asiatic-lions-sc%E2%80%88tells-gujarat-moef/1170523

 

Bhopal: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Gujarat government and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to clear its stand regarding the non-compliance of its previous order for translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir (Gujarat) to Kuno Palpur in MP's Sheopur district, located 140 kilometres from Gwalior.

The court issued the order in response to the contempt petition filed by RTI activist Ajay Dubey.In April 2013, Supreme Court had ordered translocation of Asiatic lions.

Wildlife activist Fayaz Khudsar had filed a public interest litigation in the apex court in 2006 and sought translocation of Gir lions to MP. In April 2013, the apex court in a judgment directed that the lions be translocated to Kuno Palpur in MP. In fact,the committee constituted by the Supreme Court in 2013 visited Kuno Palpur Sanctuary and held its meeting there. After the meeting, the committee members came to conclusion that Kuno was ideally suited to become a second home for Asiatic llions.

Translocation of lions from Gir to Kuno Palpur has been a bone of contention between two BJP rules states for more than a decade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the big cats as "pride of Gujarat" which the state cannot share with others. He made this statement when he was Gujarat's chief minister between 2002 and 2014.

The committee during its last meeting held in December 2016 in Kuno, in which officials from Gujarat forest department also participated, reiterated that the wildlife habitat was "ideally suited to become second home for lions." Varun Chopra, the Supreme Court advocate and counsel for Ajay Dubey, said,"Supreme court issued notices to MoEF and Gujarat government over translocation of Asiatic lions.Despite committee's recommendations,lions have not been translocated."

 

SC notice to govt over contempt plea

15/11/2017

SC notice to govt over contempt plea

THE TIMES OF INDIA

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/sc-notice-to-govt-over-contempt-plea/articleshow/61650317.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Supreme court acting on a contempt petition filed by wildlife activists from Madhya Pradesh has issued notices to the government of India and Gujarat government. The petitioner, Ajay Dubey has challenged the non-implementation of the apex court order of April 2013, directing translocation of lions to Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh from Sasan Gir in Gujarat, and has sought action against the Union government and state government of Gujarat.

"We welcome the court's decision. Translocation of lions is not only important for the environment but also for the poor people in Sheopur. They will get a new source of livelihood," said Dubey after the notices were issued.

The petition was taken up for hearing in October and was listed on Tuesday. "We argued in the court today, and the court after hearing the counsel issued notices to the Gujarat government and the government of India. The notice is returnable in four days. The hearing will now take place in January," said Varun K Chopra, the advocate appearing for the petitioners in the Supreme Court.

Madhya Pradesh's hopes of getting Asiatic lions to its land had faded after Narendra Modi, the proud custodian of Gir lions, moved from Gandhinagar to Delhi. But in another blow to MP's hopes, two Gujarat-based NGOs, too, had filed separate petitions challenging translocation of lions to Kuno.

 


Dubey has highlighted the wilful non-compliance of the apex court order of April 15, 2013. The said order directed the respondents to constitute an expert committee to oversee and ensure re-introduction of Asiatic lions from Gir forest to Kuno Palpur. The respondents have not taken any action to implement the directions of the court and have instead raised technical objections challenging the very rationale of the directions, the petitioner submitted.

 


The petitioner submitted that Gujarat has in the expert committee meeting raised a contention that prey density at Kuno is not adequate. The Supreme Court in its order has stated that several prey density surveys have been conducted by various experts, WII and the government of Madhya Pradesh, including in 2004-2005, 2008 and 2012 surveys and the prey density was higher than the existing prey base in Gir.

                                                                        

The government of Gujarat in a letter to the expert committee has contended that the presence of tigers in the occupied area at Kuno is one of the major obstacles for the translocation project. However according to Dr Asad Rehmani of Bombay Natural History Society, sporadic presence of tigers in Kuno is in no case detrimental to reintroduction of lions, the petitioner has submitted before the apex court.


Friday, November 17, 2017

One arrested after video of four men chasing lions through Gir sanctuary goes viral

09/11/2017

One arrested after video of four men chasing lions through Gir sanctuary goes viral

Scroll.In

https://scroll.in/latest/857282/one-arrested-after-video-of-four-men-chasing-lions-through-gir-sanctuary-goes-viral

The Gujarat Police have arrested one of the four miscreants who chased lions, lionesses and cubs through the Gir sanctuary, as seen in a video that went viral on Wednesday. The police tracked down the accused near Rajkot on Thursday through the licence plate number and with help from villagers, NDTV reported .

In the video, the frightened animals can be seen running away from the bike-borne intruders. Forest officials said they are on track to find the three others from the clip. Wildlife authorities are trying to trace the source of the video. It is not known yet when it was taken.

The 1,400-sq-km expanse of the Gir sanctuary in West Gujarat is the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions, which were once found in much of the continent. Today, the 400 lions that live there deal with increasing human proximity because of developments such as roads through the forest, expanding villages and illegal mining.

 

Four bikers chase, bully lions in Gujarat's Gir and the video is viral – Watch

09/11/2017

Four bikers chase, bully lions in Gujarat's Gir and the video is viral – Watch

TIMES NOW

http://www.timesnownews.com/the-buzz/article/gujarat-gir-wildlife-sanctuary-lions-viral-video-bikes/122072

Ahmedabad: A video showing four men on two bikes chasing lions, lionesses and their cubs, and bullying them in Gujarat's Gir forest, has gone viral.

The video, which lasts less than a minute, has left wildlife lovers and activists furious. 

In the video, most likely shot in Amreli area of Saurashtra region near the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, lions are seen running frantically to escape the intruders.

The video has gone viral on the social media.

 Forest officials have begun an inquiry into the incident and four persons have reportedly been arrested.

The Gir sanctuary is the world's only remaining natural habitat of popular Asiatic lions. 

 

VIDEO: Bikers chase lions in Gir forest, just for fun

12/11/2017

VIDEO: Bikers chase lions in Gir forest, just for fun

The IndianEXPRESS

http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/viral-videos-trending/video-bikers-chase-lions-in-gir-forest-gujarat-arrested-4931786/

We agree there is a thrill of the chase and many adventurers love to do things that give them an adrenaline rush, but there are also things that are simply foolish. One such incident happened in Gujarat when men on a motorcycle chased a lion and a lioness! Yes, believe it or not, but these daredevils chased the poor animals deep into the woods for quite long.

 

The shocking video surfaced online and the men can be heard speaking in Gujarati as they continue to follow the animal running away at high speed in very close proximity. And not just dead into the night, the second part of the video clearly shows four men on two bikes bothering the animals even in daylight.

 

The footage was shared by news agency ANI and they said that the police have arrested three people so far. Gir sanctuary in Gujarat, the home to Asiatic lions, is supposed to have tight security.

 

 

 

VIDEO OF BIKERS CHASING LIONS IN AMRELI GOES VIRAL: COPS ARREST FOUR SUSPECTS ON THE BASIS OF BIKES' LICENCE PLATES

10/11/2017

VIDEO OF BIKERS CHASING LIONS IN AMRELI GOES VIRAL: COPS ARREST FOUR SUSPECTS ON THE BASIS OF BIKES' LICENCE PLATES

AhmedabadMirror

http://ahmedabadmirror.indiatimes.com/ahmedabad/others/police-arrests-four-for-chasing-lions-on-bikes-in-amreli/articleshow/61584726.cms

The police on Thursday arrested four persons who could be seen in a video chasing lions on their bikes. The video was reportedly taken in Amreli about six months ago by the accused while they were chasing away a pride of lions on their bikes. However, the video went viral only on Wednesday following which the forest department approached the police to catch hold of the culprits.

The video showed four persons chasing away lions, lionesses and cubs who ran helter-skelter due to noise of the vehicles. The forest department brought the issue to the notice of the police which in turn took help of RTO to track down the vehicles based on number plates seen in the video. One of the vehicles was traced to Rajkot and its owner Padshala Ankur was arrested. Based on his interrogation, police arrested Jayesh Patat, Ajay Vala and Vala Bhimji, all residents of Babara in Amreli district. They had been to Amreli to watch lions about six months ago.

 

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According to Forest Act 1927, there is a provision of six years imprisonment for chasing or harassing scheduled (endangered) species. Forest department officials said the lions being chased were disturbed, harassed and chased by the accused. "There are chances that the lions were mating when the incident took place. There are chances that either of the adult lions can now attack human beings." Chief Conservator of Forest A P Singh said, "Police has arrested the accused and further investigation is on. Strict action will be taken in the matter." Police is also looking into the IP address to determine from where the video was first uploaded.

 

 

Bikers caught on video chasing lions in Gir sanctuary, 3 arrested

10/11/2017

Bikers caught on video chasing lions in Gir sanctuary, 3 arrested

hindustantimes

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/video-shows-group-of-bikers-chasing-endangered-asiatic-lions-in-gujarat-s-gir-forest/story-iymi68miyqYvMESC86uqEN.html

Three men were arrested on Thursday after a video showing motorcyclists chasing Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir Wildlife Sanctuary circulated online. Officials are trying to track down the fourth suspect, according to a NDTV report.

 

In the video posted on Facebook on Wednesday, the four men can be heard speaking in Gujarati as lions and lionesses frantically run.

 

Forest officials have initiated an inquiry into the incident and authorities are working on tracking the source of the video.

 

The registration number of a motorcycle visible on the video led the Gujarat Police to one biker who was arrested in Rajkot. Another biker was held in Rajkot later in the day while the third was arrested from Amreli.

 

The Gir sanctuary in western Gujarat is the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions in the world. The 1,400 sq km sanctuary and its surrounding areas Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are home to 523 Asiatic lions, according to the 2015 census by the state forest department.

 

In June, the Gujarat forest department had arrested four people for chasing a lion cub in their car in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district located close to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Although none of the occupants of the car could be seen in the video, one of them is heard asking the driver in Gujarati to chase the cub: "Increase speed, hit it... go fast.. shoot it.. we will not get the chance again." Authorities, however, clarified that 'shoot' it meant capturing the chase on camera, and not shooting the cub with a gun.


 

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