Thursday, April 18, 2013

Relocation of Gir lions upsets many

Relocation of Gir lions upsets many
Times of India

Gir sanctuary in Gujarat is the only home to Asiatic lions, an endangered species.

 The Gujarat government on Wednesday denied it had failed to put up a proper legal fight to stop the relocation of lions from the Gir sanctuary to Kuno in Madhya Pradesh.

It said noted lawyers like Harish Salve, Mukul Rohtagi and Shyam Diwan were engaged to present the state's case in Supreme Court. In addition, additional advocate general of Gujarat Tushar Mehta was also involved.

The state also denied lack of interest on the part of the political leadership and bureaucracy, saying the case was monitored by the chief minister's office.

It said the state filed a series of affidavits in court covering legal, technical, scientific and socio-cultural aspects of the relocation. The arguments were supported with facts, figures and scientific papers.

It pointed to the judgment observing that Gujarat had dealt with poaching quite well. "The state of Gujarat can be justifiably proud of the fact that it has preserved an endangered species becoming extinct," it quoted the judgment as saying.

The state government said conservation of Asiatic Lions by Gujarat was a globally acclaimed success story, adding that their number has increased from 177 in 1968 to 411 in 2010, an increase of 132%.

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