Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Forest department harassing farmers, Porbandar MP alleges

Forest department harassing farmers, Porbandar MP alleges
The Times of India

BJP MP from Porbandar Vitthal Radadia came down heavily on forest department officials for harassing farmers living in and around Gir forest.

Addressing a farmers meet in Rajkot on Monday, he said, "Farmers have been booked under serious charges whenever lions have died. In that case the forest officials should be booked for murder whenever a farmer is killed in an attack by a lion."

Radadia said this in presence minister of state for environment Govind Patel.

Radadia also raised the issue of crop destruction by nilgais and wild boar. "Farmers have to keep a vigil for 24 hours. We have requested the state government to take immediate action in this regard,'' he said.

During the last two months, three lions were killed around Gir. Two died after being electrocuted and one died after consuming water mixed with fertilizer.

It is alleged that farmers use electric fencing to ward off wild animals, especially nilgais and wild boar, but it is leopards and lions that get electrocuted.

"The state government should revoke all these cases filed against the farmers in connection with the wildlife deaths,'' demanded Radadia.

He suggested that the government set up a separate unit to capture wild boar and nilgais and release them in the forest.

He also sought more power supply to the farmers.

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