Friday, March 07, 2008

On first anniversary of poaching incidence of Asiatic Lions; But where is the Master Poacher?


On first anniversary of poaching incidence of Asiatic Lions; But where is the Master Poacher?

Divya Bhaskar (Briefly translated from Gujarati)

Exactly one year back three lion poaching incidence was reported. After 27 days, of first incidence, another three lions were poached in the same area. Roar of six lions was permanently silenced in March 07. Poachers had grand success in taking away bones, claws, skin etc. and only few remains were found. The technique or modus-operandy was such that lion could not even roar (scream) when being killed.

After one year balance sheet shows few front line poachers and one step up Sarkaslal and Prabhakaran from Bangalore are in police custody.

But the biggest question is who and where is the kingpin? Looking to seriousness, Chief Minister Shree Narendrabhai Modi also visited the scene of crime and declared package of 40 Cr. But public, at this point, is not aware how much of this is spent?

Now due to various reasons lion is regularly straying outside the sanctuary area. This would make poachers job even easier.

The whole investigation is headed by intelligent and dedicated IG-CID Shree Keshav Kumar. Gir lovers feel that kingpin should be caught immediately.  

We did this much, says Shree Bharat Pathak, CF-WL

-         Vigorous patrolling with the help of local villagers

-         Registration of non-Gujarati labours with the help of Sarpanchs

-         Co-operation from state police

-         Checking with help of state police

-         Recruitment of bit-guards

-         Motor-bikes purchased for bit-guards

-         Severe patrolling on check post

Locals have enormous love for lions

Villagers living on periphery of Gir Forest and Maldharis still have enormous love for lions. They feel let lions reach our cattle but poachers should not reach lions.

When Maldharis where inside Sanctuary; they say lions were not being poached

Maldharis say that when they were allowed to live inside the sanctuary there was no poaching because they watched and informed any suspicious activities as soon as they show it.

Kishore Kotecha’s Comment and personal feeling:

-         I am of opinion that after poaching CID and forest department has done their level best to catch poachers and prevent such incidences happening in future.

-         Locals definitely love lions and have shown tolerance for cattle or crop loss happening to them due to lions.

-         It is not true that poaching never happened when Maldharis were allowed to live inside sanctuary area. Lions definitely are having some benefits of them living inside sanctuary but indirect disadvantages like disturbance; forest fragmentation etc. would rate higher. Thus it is utmost important to relocate existing 47-48 nesses outside sanctuary as soon as possible.

-         IG-CID Shree Keshav Kumar has done remarkable and example-setting investigation. My congratulation and best wishes to him and his team.

-         Lions have been straying out side sanctuary since centuries. But after poaching incidence, media is regularly reporting lion in village, killed cattle etc. as Garam Masala. This is having negative impact on local people’s thinking. It may happen that local people become less tolerance due to such petty reporting.

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