Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lion cub chased by car, four held after video goes viral

21/06/2017

Lion cub chased by car, four held after video goes viral

FINANCIAL EXPRESS

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/lion-cub-chased-by-car-four-held-after-video-goes-viral/729898/

The Gujarat forest department today arrested four persons for allegedly chasing a lion cub in their car in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district located close to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

The Gujarat forest department today arrested four persons for allegedly chasing a lion cub in their car in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district located close to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, officials said. A video of the purported incident, which took place on June 17, has gone viral on the social media, drawing flak from animal lovers. The video, which lasts around one minute, shows the cub running frantically ahead of the car on a narrow path at night to save its life.

 

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." The cub, however, disappeared into the bushes and escaped unhurt.

 

Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Junagadh Wildlife Circle, A P Singh said after the incident came to light, the forest officials initiated an inquiry and nabbed the four accused from Bhavnagar today. They were held on charges of endangering the life of a lion cub, the official said.

 

"These four men, accused of chasing the cub, were held by the forest officials from Bhavnagar. We also seized their car. We will seek their remand from court to investigate their motive behind this act," Singh said. According to the official, the video was shot somewhere in Visavadar taluka of Junagadh district on June 17.

 

Visavadar is close to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, known as the last abode of Asiatic lions. There are around 523 lions in the sanctuary. "We learned that when they said 'shoot it,' they meant shooting video of the cub on their mobile phone, not shooting the cub with a gun. We are investigating this case from all the angles," Singh said.

 

 

Four persons who chased lion cub Junagadh arrested

21/06/2017

Four persons who chased lion cub Junagadh arrested

THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/four-persons-who-chased-lion-cub-junagadh-arrested/articleshow/59256839.cms

 

AHMEDABAD: In a major breakthrough, the forest department has arrested four persons from Bhavnagar, who had harassed a lion cub by chasing it for a long distance in their car.

The video of the chase had gone viral on social media, leaving the wildlife lovers incensed.

 

They were identified as Utpal Pandya, Devang, Parthiv and Brijesh while another person Lakhan Mer, who had facilitated their illegal lion show near Visavadar in Junagadh, was identified. They were working as medical representatives in Bhavnagar.

Chief conservator of forest AP Singh said that the state cyber-crime cell was roped in neither the faces of the accused nor the car number was available. They were only heard speaking in Gujarati.

 

"We began backward tracing of the origin of the video and rounded up one youth in Bhavnagar. The man broke down during interrogation and narrated the entire episode," said Singh.

 

The four chased the lion cub till it escaped into the dark.

 

The arrested persons told the forest department that they were afraid of chasing the cub at a high speed, but Mer a resident of Javaladi (Badak) in Kankari Kunj, asked them to try and go as close as possible to the cub so that they could take a proper video.

 

The four had gone for their officials work and then Mer was their local contact who took them in the fields to show lion.

 

Ramkumar, additional principal chief conservator of forest said, "There was no lead and hence with the help of cyber officials we traced the origin of the video. The department wants to set such examples so that desist from such harassment of lions and illegal shows."

Lion preys on calf, gets kicks from mare

22/06/2017

Lion preys on calf, gets kicks from mare

THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/lion-preys-on-calf-gets-kicks-from-mare/articleshow/59257435.cms

 

Rajkot: People spent a sleepless night in Bhad village near Khambha in Amreli district when an adult Asiatic lion sneaked into the compound of a house and preyed upon calves tied there.


However, the king of the jungle too had its share of woes when a mare that was also tied nearby delivered a couple of brutal kicks to the lion. "The lion entered by jumping the compound wall that was nearly eight feet high. There were five cows and three calves tied in the compound and the lion killed all the calves," said Bhabhlu Bharwad, the house owner.

 

"However, while eating the prey, the lion walked towards the mare, which kicked it hard. The impact of the kick was so hard that the lion actually went into a shock for nearly 30 minutes," Bharwad said.

 

Even as villages raised a hue and cry, the lion didn't budge from the spot and kept feasting on the calf. Police and forest department teams, including ran-ge forest officer Rambhai Mor, reached the village and tried to shoo away the lion, but in vain.

 

 

WATCH: Shocking! Rare Asiatic lion cub chased into Gujarat’s Gir

22/06/2017

WATCH: Shocking! Rare Asiatic lion cub chased into Gujarat's Gir forest; 4 arrested

The Indian EXPRESS

http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/viral-videos-trending/watch-car-chases-rare-asiatic-lion-cub-gir-forest-4715537/

 

Almost on the verge of extinction, Asiatic lions are rare to spot these days. A shocking video has emerged on the Internet which shows an Asiatic lion cub being wildly chased by a car until it ran into the wild woods. In the video, the faint voices can be heard as saying in Gujarati: "Hit it… Increase the speed. Shoot it. Won't get such a chance." Another man can be heard saying, "Can't hit."

 

Ram Kumar, the additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), told TOI, "We have sent the video to all senior officers and the DCF in Gir and have asked them to identify the area and the people." An analyst has been quoted in the same report as saying, "It appears that the car was moving at a speed of around 35-40 kmph and the cub was made to run at a greater speed." The officer said that the vehicle chased the cub for nearly 45 seconds. The 50-second video has been circulated to officials to identify the criminal.

 

According to a report by TOI, "Four men have been arrested now, who have been identified as, Utpal Pandya, Devang, Parthiv and Brijesh. Another person Lakhan Mer, who had facilitated their illegal lion show near Visavadar in Junagadh, was also identified. They were working as medical representatives in Bhavnagar."

 

"We began backward tracing of the origin of the video and rounded up one youth in Bhavnagar. The man broke down during interrogation and narrated the entire episode," the chief conservator of forest AP Singh told the newspaper.

 

Meanwhile, Ramkumar, additional principal chief conservator of forest said, "There was no lead and hence with the help of cyber officials we traced the origin of the video. The department wants to set such examples so that desist from such harassment of lions and illegal shows."

 

Wattsup Forward

22/06/2017
Wattsup Forward
ગીરઃ વિનાશના આરેથી…
– ડો. સનત ચવાણ, નિવૃત્ત અગ્રમુખ્યવનસંરક્ષક
(સાદર ઋણસ્વીકાર : 'સૃષ્ટી'માંથી)

# SAVE ASIATIC LION #
એક અંદાજ પ્રમાણે એશિયાટીક સિંહ ભારતદેશમાં લગભગ 50,000 થી 1,00,000 વર્ષ પહેલા પ્રવેશ્યા. 1880થી 1890 સુધીમાં દેશમાંના અન્ય રાજ્યોમાંથી ધીરેધીરે સિંહનો સફાયો થયો, અને ફક્ત ગીરના જંગલ પૂરતા તે સિમીત રહી ગયા. આ માટેનો સંપૂર્ણ ફાળો જૂનાગઢના નવાબ શ્રી ને જાય. શ્રી હરપ્રસાદ દેસાઈ, નવાબ શ્રીના ગીર વહીવટદારના લખ્યા પ્રમાણે ગીર (ગિરનાર સહિત)ને 32 બ્લોકમાં વહેંચવામાં આવેલ અને તેમાંનો દેવાળિયો બ્લોક સેક્ચ્યુરી કરીકે, અને 32મો બ્લોક ગિરનારનો હતો.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION# 
જ્યારે શ્રી ભૂપતરાય વૈષ્ણવ કાઠિયાવાડ એજન્સી વકીલે સંવત 1957માં લખ્યા મુજબ મહાલ ગીરનું ક્ષેત્રફળ 800 ચોરસ માઈલનું હતું. જેની ઉત્તરે બગડુ અને વિસાવદર મહાલ અને ગાયકવાડી મુલકનો ભાગ આવેલ. પૂર્વઊના મહાલનો ભાગ આવેલ. દક્ષિણે ઊના મહાલનો ભાગ, કોડીનાર પ્રગણું અને સુત્રાપાડા અને પાટણ મહાલો, પશ્ચિમે માળિયા તથા તાલુકો મેંદરડા આવેલા હતા.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION# 
ગીર મહાલનું મુખ્ય સ્થળ સાસણ હતું, જ્યાં વહીવટદારની તથા મુનસિફ અને પોલીસ ફોજદારની કચેરીઓ રહેતી, સાસણ નામ સંસ્કૃત 'શાસન' એટલે શિક્ષા ઉપરથી પડેલ હશે એમ તે વખતનું એક અનુમાન હતું. કેમકે આગળના વખતમાં રાજ્યના ગુનાહિતોને આ સ્થળે શિક્ષા ભોગવવા મોકલતા, એમ કહેવાય છે. ગીર મહાલમાં તે વખતે પણ નેસડા વસેલા હતા. અને માલધારીઓ થોડી મુદત માટે પોતાના ઢોરોની ચરાઈ આવીને વસતા.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION #
પરંતુ સ્વતંત્રતા પછી ગીરનો કારભાર સરકાર હસ્તક આવ્યો, અને ગીરમાં પહેલાના કરતાં વધુ માલધારી ઘૂસી ગયા તેમજ દર વર્ષે 50,000થી લાખેક જેટલા ગીર બહારના ઢોર વરસાદ પછી અંદર આવી જતા જો કે 1968 થી બહારના ઢોરોને અંદર પ્રવેશ માટે બંધી કરવામાં આવેલ, પરંતુ 1974 સુધી તેનો અમલ નહોતો થયો.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION #
હવે સ્વતંત્રતા પછીનો 1974 સધીનો આ સમય ગીર માટે કપરો રહેલ (કપરો તો શું પરંતુ ભયાનક રહ્યો હશે) આ અરસામાં વરસાદ પછી ગીરમાં આવનાર ઢોર બે મહિનામાં જ બધી લીલોતરી, ચારો સફાચટ કરી જતા અને બાકી રહેનાર આખા વર્ષ દરમ્યાન ગીર જંગલના તૃણભક્ષી વન્યપ્રાણીઓ માટે ચારો રહેતો જ નહીં. વધુ વરસો જતા, ધીરેધીરે ગીરમાંથી સારો (પેલેટેબલ) ચારો-ઘાસ નાના છોડ નષ્ટ થઈ તેની જગ્યાએ (અનપેલેટેબલ) ખરાબ, આરોગી ન શકાય તેવો ચારો વધવા લાગ્યો. આમાં મુખ્ય હતા કુવાડીયું, ગોખરૂ, કુબડો, લેન્ટોના અને ઘાસમાં ઈરેગ્રોસ્ટીસ, એરીસ્ટીડા, મેલેનો સેંક્રસ, હેટરો પોગોન વિગેર. શ્રી ટી.બી.એસ. હોડ ના અભ્યાસમાં જણાવ્યા મુજબ 1265 ચો.કી.ના ગીર વિસ્તારમાં લગભગ 1100 ચો.કી. વિસ્તાર (1970 સુધીમાં) બહુ જ ખરાબ રીતે રીબાયેલ અને વધુ ચરિયાણ થયેલ જણાયેલ.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION# 
ંગલની વનસ્પતિની તંદુરસ્તી, સારી જાતોની અસર વન્ય પ્રણીઓનાં સંવર્ધન તેમના પ્રજનન અને પોપ્યુલેશન ડાયનેમિક્સ પર સીધી રીતે થતી હોય છે. આમ ઢોરોના ચરીયાણ ને લીધી ગીરમાં ખરાબ વનસ્પતિનો વધારો થવાથી તૃણભક્ષી વન્ય પ્રાણીઓની સંખ્યામાં ઘટોડો થતો રહ્યો. જેને લીધે તેના ઉપર આધાર રાખનાર માંસાહારી પ્રાણીઓ જેવા કે સિંહની સંખ્યામાં પણ જરીકે વધારે નોંધાયો નહોતો. આમ 1974માં થયેલ ગીરની વન્ય પ્રાણી ગણત્રીમાં ચિત્તલની સંખ્યા 4517 ઉપર સ્થિર રહેલ, જ્યારે સાબર 651 અને સિંહ 177 જેટલા ગણાયેલ. આ અરસામાં 1967થી 1970 સુધીમાં વિદેશના વિખ્યાત વન્યપ્રાણી વિશેષજ્ઞો એ ભારત સરકારને ગીરને બચાવવા અપિલ કરેલ એમાં મુખ્ય હતા ગાય મોન્ટફોર્ડ, ઈન્ટરનેશનલ ટ્રસ્ટી, વર્લ્ડ વાઈલ્ડ લાઈફ ફન્ડ, જ્યોર્જ સેલર, ટાલ્બોટ વિગેરે.
# SAVE ASIATIC LION# 
આ પછી મોન્ટોફોર્ડના સૂચન ઉપર એક પ્રોજેક્ટ. ગીર ઈકોલોજીકલ પ્રોજેક્ટ કરવામાં આવ્યો. આ પ્રોજેક્ટ દરમ્યાન થયેલ ત્રણ વર્ષના અભ્યાસમાં જે તારણો કાઢવામાં આવ્યા, અને સૂચનો રેકોમેન્ડેશન થયા તે વનખાતા દ્વારા અમલમાં મુકાયા. તેમા મુખ્ય તો અભ્યારણ્યને ફરતે પથ્થરની દીવાલ, માલધારીના સ્થળાતંરનો કાર્યક્રમ, બહાના ઢોરોને બંદી વિગેરે. આની અસર 4-5 વરસમાંજ ચોક્ખી રીતે જોવા મળી. અને 1979, 1984ની પ્રાણી ગણત્રીમાં ચિત્તલ, સાબર અને સિંહની સંખ્યામાં ઉત્તરોત્તર વૃધ્ધિ જોવા મળી.
#SAVE ASIATIC LION# 
વચ્ચેના ગાળામાં અર્ધા જેટલા માલધારી અને તેમના ઢોર બીજે વસાવવામાં આવ્યા. બહારના ઢોર આવતા બંધ થયા. એટલે કે જે કાંઈ થોડા બહુ ચોરી છુપી થી ઘૂસી જતા હશે તેજ. આની અસર એ થઈ કે સારી જાતની વનસ્પતિ પાછી આવવા લાગી અને અભયારણ્યની તંદુરસ્તી ઘણી સુધરી. હાલની પરિસ્થિતિમાં ચિત્તલની સંખ્યા 4500થી વધીને લગભગ 45000 જેટલી થઈ છે. સિંહની સંખ્યા 177થી વધીને 300 ઉપર ગઈ છે. આ કાંઈ નાનીસુની સિધ્ધિ નથી. ભાગ્યેજ અન્ય કોઈ અભયારણ્ય કે રાષ્ટ્રીય ઉદ્યાનમાં આવી ગજબની પરિસ્થિતિ સુધરી હોય. ગીર સમયસરના પગલાંને લીધે બચી જવા પામેલ છે. હાલ માં 523 સિંહ વસવાટ કરી રહયા છે. પરંતુ ગીર માટે હજુ ઘણી મઝલ કાપવાની છે. અને આ તબક્કે આપણે ચેતના નહીં રહીએ તો પાછી 'ભયજનક' સ્થિતિમાં પહોંચી જઈશું.

Re:LEGAL FUND FOR THE WORKS OF GOD


Reply To My Private E-mail:(mrsedith.ahmed690@outlook.com)
Dear Beloved Friend
Calvary Greetings in the name of the LORD Almighty and Our LORD JESUS CHRIST the giver of every good thing. Good day and compliments of the seasons, i know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence. I am Mrs. Edith Ahmed aging widow of 65 years old suffering from long time illness.I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of($15,200,000.00 Million Dollars)and I needed a very honest and God fearing  who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO GIVE THIS FUNDS TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS. I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers  to the LORD to bring me a helper and i decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith before anything happens to me.

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Unfortunately, I'm in a hospital in israel where I have been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer. I have lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only few months to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to any charitable organizations anywhere in the World. Because my relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them. If you are interested in my offer you are to submit the following information urgent.

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Please kindly respond quickly through my private e-mail address: (mrsedith.ahmed690@outlook.com)

Thanks and Remain blessed,
Mrs. Edith Ahmed

Car chasing a lion cub as it runs for its life in Gujarat Gir forest...

22/06/2017

Car chasing a lion cub as it runs for its life in Gujarat Gir forest...
INDIA LIVE TODAY

http://www.indialivetoday.com/car-chasing-lion-cub-runs-life-gujarat-gir-forest/168535.html

Ahmedabad,June20:In a highly condemnable incident, a video has emerged on Facebook, that shows a car...

Read more at: http://www.indialivetoday.com/car-chasing-lion-cub-runs-life-gujarat-gir-forest/168535.html

The video, reportedly posted on a group called Gujarat Forest that is run by an NGO, shows the car c...

Read more at: http://www.indialivetoday.com/car-chasing-lion-cub-runs-life-gujarat-gir-forest/168535.html

 

NDTV reported that the video that is most probably shot in Amreli outside the Gir forest was posted ...

Read more at: http://www.indialivetoday.com/car-chasing-lion-cub-runs-life-gujarat-gir-forest/168535.html

 

The occupants of the car are heard talking and seem to be egging the driver on to follow the cub and...

Read more at: http://www.indialivetoday.com/car-chasing-lion-cub-runs-life-gujarat-gir-forest/168535.html



In Video, Desperate Lion Cub Chased By Car in Gujarat

20/06/2017

In Video, Desperate Lion Cub Chased By Car in Gujarat

NDTV

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/video-shows-car-chasing-lion-cub-in-gujarats-gir-forest-1714574

The video of a lion cub being chased by men in Gujarat's Amreli district is being circulated in social media. "Hit it, shoot it," men are heard saying in the video

AHMEDABAD:  A winding road through a forest at night and a desperate lion cub, chased by a car, runs for its life: A 50-second video that captures the plight of the lions of Gujarat has triggered an investigation by the forest department.

The video is apparently shot in Amreli, close to the Gir forest -- the only remaining home of the Asiatic lion. It was posted by a non-profit, so the forest department could take action.

The cellphone footage appears to have been shot by one of the occupants of the car, who is heard exhorting the driver to go faster. "Increase the speed... Hit it... Increase the speed. Shoot it. Shoot it. Won't get such a chance," he is heard saying in Gujarati.

Another voice, presumably the driver, says, "No, can't hit". The excited man reassures him. "Don't get tense. Don't worry. You increase the speed".

Lit by the headlights of the car, the cub runs faster and faster.  Finally as the road forks, it takes the right, where the clip abruptly ends.


"Lost it," a frustrated voice is heard saying.

 

Ram Kumar, a senior forest official said they are circulating the video to "all wildlife circles in and around Gir to identify the culprits".

Gir has around 400 lions in 1400 square kilometer area. But relentless development - roads through the forest, expanding villages and illegal mining - is forcing animal-human proximity.

In May last year, a four-year-old 
lion had accidentally fallen into dry well in the same Amreli district. While chasing the village's grazing buffaloes, it was surprised by a group of women. As the panic stricken animal tried to flee, it fell into the dry well. It was later rescued and released in the forest.

Two months ago, 
people driving through Amreli on the Pipavav-Rajula highway, were greeted by the sight of a pride of lions crossing the road. Many lions have died in road and train accidents in the area.



 

Demand for lion shows puts big money in play

19/06/2017

Demand for lion shows puts big money in play

THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/demand-for-lion-shows-puts-big-money-in-play/articleshow/59209313.cms

 

Ahmedabad: The uproar over the suspension of two forest department staffers has brought to light the fact that illegal lion shows are rampant outside sanctuary areas. On average, 10 shows are organized every day. The business of illegal lion shows across Saurashtra region is estimated to be worth about Rs 3 crore a year, which is equivalent to about 70% of the revenue through official lion safaris.

 

Senior forest officials, on condition of anonymity, said, "For each show, farmers on the periphery of Gir Sanctuary charge Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending on the size and paying capacity of the group. If spectators want to see a lion feed on cattle, it could cost between Rs 8,000 and Rs 15,000. If someone just wants to see a lion, the price is about Rs 2,000 for a single person or between Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per person for groups."

Another senior officer in Gandhinagar said that ever since the department got strict and stopped multiple safari vehicles converging at the site of a sighting, the lion show business has flourished. This is because barely 50% of visitors now actually get to see a lion.

 

Some jeep drivers and beat guards have also got involved, by joining hands with local farmers who have a lion presence in their fields.

 


The modus operandi is simple. The farmers provide bait every second day to make sure that the pride does not leave and the shows go on uninterrupted.

 


Another senior forest officer said two other untoward incidents had come to light in the last three months. In March, a forest trekker on patrol was stabbed to death by seven men, during a crackdown on an illegal lion show on the border of the 
Gir forest in Amreli district.

 


A tourist from Mumbai had alerted the Prime Minister's office, about ostensible poaching of a cub by a resident of Talala. The alert sent the forest department scurrying from pillar to post. When the Talala resident, a taxi driver, was arrested, he confessed to having made a false promise to earn some money.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Foresters go on flash strike in Gir

16/06/2017

Foresters go on flash strike in Gir

THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/foresters-go-on-flash-strike-in-gir/articleshow/59168400.cms

 

AHMEDABAD: Field staff at the Gir Sanctuary in Sasan, who are responsible for the conservation and protection of the last abode of the Asiatic lion, have struck work. The forest department staff are protesting the suspension of two forest officials, against whom a police complaint had been lodged after a youth from Hadmatiya village had been arrested for holding illegal lion shows.

 

Meanwhile, a senior range forest officer (RFO), said that RFOs from all over the state will go on mass casual leave and go to Junagadh to register their protest and press for revocation of the suspension.

The strike in Sasan brought forest department work to a standstill in Gir and its vicinity. There were no staffers at check posts and the routine morning counts on various beats were not conducted. Officials said that fortunately, no major rescue calls were received. Forest department staffers, including rescue teams, sat on a dharna at the Junagadh office of the chief conservator of forests. The staffers are demanding that the suspension be revoked.

A recording of a voice message—asking forest department staff to unite against the politics being played out through the suspension—had gone viral on social media groups of forest department staffers.

 

The Gujarat forest department had suspended a range forest officer, P T Kaneria, and a forester, M M Bharwad, when a complaint was lodged against them at Talala police station after a detainee of theirs, Bharat Kalsaria, had attempted suicide. Kalsaria had been arrested for alleged involvement in organizing illegal lion shows.

 

On April 29, seven residents of Harmatiya village, including Kalsaria, were accused of holding an illegal lion show in Talala. "Kalsaria had been on the run ever since. On Tuesday, a forest department staffer had spotted him and he was detained. On finding him guilty of holding illegal lion shows, the officer fined him Rs 7,000 and then let him go. The department filmed his release as well," said a senior forest official.

 

Forest minister, Ganpat Vasava, said, "We are talking to the staff and the strike will soon be withdrawn. The staff want the suspension to be revoked. We had to take action as the person concerned had attempted suicide and made the allegations in his suicide note."

 

Non-government organizations association with conservation have also demanded that the suspension be revoked. Kishore Kotecha of Wildlife Conservation Trust, in a letter to the PCCF, said, "Our trust strongly condemns the unwarranted suspension of RFO Talala Kaneria and forester Bharwad. They have a strong record of having performed their duty diligently even at risk to their lives. Now,they are being punished. In support of our Gir and its lion conservation, we humbly request that their suspension order be revoked and an impartial inquiry be ordered. The department should file a petition in the high court for quashing of the FIR against the two forest staffers."

Gujarat forest employees go on strike in protest of supension of Talala RFO, forester

15/06/2017

Gujarat forest employees go on strike in protest of supension of Talala RFO, forester

The Indian EXPRESS

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-forest-employees-go-on-strike-in-protest-of-supension-of-talala-rfo-forester-4705889/

 

The employees assembled outside the office of chief conservator of forests (CCF) of
Junagadh wildlife circle in Junagadh and sat on dharna throughout the day.

 

More than 250 employees of the state forest department posted in and around Gir forest went on leave en masse on Thursday in protest of suspension of two officers of Talala range. The protesting employees claimed the suspensions were unjustified and should be revoked therefore.

 

Beat guards, foresters and some range forest officers (RFOs) of Gir (east), Gir (west), Sasan wildlife division, Junagadh forest division, Porbandar forest divison etc went on leave for one day on Thursday. The employees assembled outside the office of chief conservator of forests (CCF) of Junagadh wildlife circle in Junagadh and sat on dharna throughout the day. Later in the evening, their representatives met the CCF and demanded that suspension of Talala RFO PT Kaneriya and Talala forester Manu Bharwad be revoked.

 

"The Talala RFO and forester were merely exercising power conferred on them by the Forest (Conservation) Act while arresting a man who had entered the forest area illegally. They cannot be suspended for discharging their duties. Therefore, we feel the suspension is unreasonable and should be revoked. Let there be a departmental inquiry and let police also conduct an impartial investigation in the matter," Mahavirsinh Sodha, vice president of Gujarat Rajya Vanrakshak Karmachari Mandal (GRVKM) or Gujarat state forest employees association told The Indian Express.


Kaneriya and Bharwad were suspended on Tuesday after Talal police booked them for allegedly confining one Bharat Patel unlawfully and also robbing him of Rs50,000 cash. Officers of Talala range in Gir (west) forest division had arrested Patel, a farmer of Hadmatiya village in Talala taluka of Gir Somnath district fore allegedly entering forest area without permission on April 29. However, after he was released, Patel consumed poison and attempted suicide alleging harassment from forest officers. Based on a complaint filed by Patel's brother, Talal police had booked Kaneriya, Bharwad, a bit guard and a lion tracker for robbery, unlawful confinement and criminal intimidation. After the Talala police launched the FIR, Kaneriya and Bharwad were suspended the same day for indefinite period and transferred with immediate effect.

 

"We all employees of the forest department are against the suspension and to convey this to higher authorities, more than 250 of us are mass eave for a day" Sodha said. The GRVKM vice-president further said that their protest will continue of the the suspensions were not revoked soon.

 

Gir forest and other protected areas in Junagadh, Gir Somnathm, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are the only natural habitat in the world of the endangered Asiatic lions. Population of the Jungle King has been on the rise for the last four decades and lion conservation in Gujarat is widely accepted as a global success story. Top forest officers give forest employees and local population the credit for the success.

 

This is second major protest this month by those working in and around Gir forest this. Lion trackers had gone on an indefinite strike on 5th of this month in protest of outsourcing their work. In the face of their strike, Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society had postponed its decision of outsourcing indefinitely.


Gir protection staff strike work to protest suspension

15/06/2017

Gir protection staff strike work to protest suspension

THE TIMES OF INDAI

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/gir-protection-staff-strike-work-to-protest-suspension/articleshow/59160778.cms

 

AHMEDABAD: The field staff of the Gir Sanctuary responsible for the conservation and protection of the world's last Asiatic lion in its abode in Sasan have struck work. The staff is protesting the suspension of two forest officials against whom a police complaint was lodged after a youth from Hadmatiya was caught for illegal lion show.

 

The staff including the rescue team sat on dharna at the office of the Chief Conservator of Forest in Junagadh and demanded that the suspension be revoked. The suspension had led to unrest in the department. A voice message had gone viral in groups of forest department staffers, asking them to unite against the politics that was playing out in the suspension incident.

 


The 
Gujarat forest department suspended a range forest officer, P T Kaneria, and a forester, M M Bharwad, against whom a complaint was lodged at Talala police station after a detainee of theirs, Bharat Kalsaria, attempted suicide. Kalsaria had been arrested for his alleged involvement in organizing illegal lion shows.

 

On April 29, seven residents of Harmatiya village including Kalsaria were accused of holding an illegal lion show in Talala. "Kalsaria had been on the run ever since. On Tuesday, a forest department staffer spotted him and he was detained. On finding him guilty of holding illegal lion shows, the officer fined him Rs 7,000 and he was then let go. The department filmed his release as well," said senior officials from the department.

 


Even the Non-Government organization association with the conservation have demanded that the suspension be revoked. Kishore Kotecha of the 
Wildlife Conservation Trust in a letter to the PCCF said, "Our trust strongly condemns the unwarranted suspension of RFO Talala Kaneriya and Forestor Bharwad. They have a very strong record of having performed their duty diligently even at risk of their own life. Now for the sake of better known reasons they are being punished. In the support of our Gir and it's lion's conservation we humbly request that their suspension order should be revoked and an impartial inquiry should be order in the issue and instead the department should file a petition in the high court for quashing of the FIR against the two forest staffers."

 

 

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