Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another security lapse at Gir


Another security lapse at Gir

Times of India By: Himanshu Kaushik Print Edition


Sasan: The state government claims that adequate security has been provided in and around the Gir forest, but the recent attack on a Maldhari labourer within the sanctuary has raised questions over such tall claims. The government, it seems, has not learnt a lesson from the recent poaching incidents.


On Monday, Gagan Rana Charan, a resident of Kasiya Nes who fills the water points in the sanctuary, was attacked by three unidentified persons when he was engaged in his daily duties. Gir Maldhari Seva Samaj leader, Malde Bamrodia said Gagan was about 10 km from Kasiya Nes in the sanctuary when three persons armed with swords asked him to leave the spot immediately.


A terrified Gagan reached the Kasia range check post where he informed the guard on duty about the incident, said Bamrodia. The incident took place inside the sanctuary when State Reserve Police Force, which is providing security, and CID (crime), which is investigating the poaching incident, were present in the area.


Another Maldhari staying at a Nes in Gir said security was beefed up after the poaching incidents, but officials turned lackadaisical in their attitude later and they rarely check any vehicle entering the sanctuary these days. Deputy conservator of forest V B Pati said the preliminary investigations revealed that Gagan was just slapped. He said, “We launched a search operation in the nearby villages and in the sanctuary but could not find the three persons.” He added that there was some inconsistency in Gagan’s statement.

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