Guwahati, Sunday, August 9, 2015
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Birds get their basic right in Meghalaya
Raju Das

 SHILLONG, Aug 8 - An order of the East Khasi Hills district administration has become the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of birds and now they have their ‘fundamental right’ to fly.

 The district has become one of the few places where keeping or selling of caged birds is an offense, after Friday's notification. With the order, the birds are gone, so too the sellers from marketplaces such as Police Bazaar and others.

East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner PS Dkhar told The Assam Tribune that there has been no violation of the order till today. “We would be strictly following it,” he stated.

The decision of the district administration here was based on the 2010 Gujarat and 2015 Delhi High Court rulings. The Delhi High Court ruling said: “Birds have fundamental rights, including the right to live with dignity and they cannot be subjected to cruelty by anyone… They deserve sympathy.”

Many children are fond of keeping birds as pets. Several individuals and organisations across the globe term such pet-keeping ‘cruel’ and have been counselling, especially parents to encourage their kids to take home some other animal as a pet.

Some of the birds that are found in the markets here come from different places of the state and the country with diverse conditions. As a result many perish in cagesafter being trapped and translocated.

Dkhar feels that not just the administration, but also individuals and NGOs should report or file FIR against violation of the order. Violators would be punished under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Dkhar said, “We somehow feel good after the notification was passed”.

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