GUWAHATI, June 29 – Expressing grave concern over the unabated killing of marooned wildlife near human settlements during the current wave of floods, public activist Prof Deven Dutta today questioned what prevented the government authorities, the Forest Department and the police in particular, from protecting the straying animals as also taking action on those indulging in the killings.
In a statement, Prof Dutta said that there had been open and widespread killing of animals, especially deer, during the floods, and even more shocking had been the sale of wild animal meat under the very nose of the administration at various places.
“It is most pitiable and testifies to wanton human greed that deer and other wildlife seeking shelter on highlands during the floods are mercilessly being killed by people. Regrettably, the Forest Department and the police who are the mandated authorities to act in such situations have remained mute spectators,” Prof Dutta said.
Pointing out that the prescribed speed limit during flood time along the stretch of Kaziranga National Park was never maintained for lack of sensitivity on the part of vehicle drivers and slack enforcement by the authorities, Prof Dutta said that unless the speed limits were strictly enforced, the causalities of wildlife would only mount.
“Animals in their hordes cross the national highway during floods to take shelter on the Karbi Anglong Hills on the other side but a number of wildlife get killed every year while crossing the highway during the floods. It is time the authorities enforced the rules stringently,” he said.
Prof Dutta said that the number plates of vehicles violating speed regulations should be recorded using technology such as camera zoom for prosecuting the offenders later, and if necessary those keeping vigil should shoot at the tyres of the vehicles.
Prof Dutta also questioned what was being done with the carcasses of animals dying in the floods. “Unless disposed as per law, there is every chance of those getting consumed by greedy people,” he added.