In contrary to claims of People for Animals (PFA) that they had handed over 15 Australian ducklings to the UT forest department, the information supplied by the Chandigarh Police has revealed that the ducklings are Indian (resident species).
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PFA had rescued 15 ducklings on September 15 which were allegedly being taken to Sector 61 by two unidentified persons. The police had registered a case against unknown persons under Wildlife Protection Act. PFA claimed that the ducklings were rare Australian species worth around Rs 7 lakh.
Chetan Sharma, PFA president, Punjab, had lodged a complaint with UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore on September 20. In his complaint, Chetan had stated that he was told by officials of the department that the ducklings had died. However, a day after the complaint, the department had released photographs of the ducklings. Even in complaint lodged with the UT administrator, PFA had claimed that the ducklings were of rare species.
However, Chandigarh police stated that the complainant Chetan Sharma in his complaint had mentioned that recovered 15 ducklings were Australian. However, on the same day, in his statement, he stated that the recovered ducklings were Indian (resident species) and seemed to be Australian ducklings. The police further stated the complainant did not specify the cost of these ducklings in the complaint.
UT Chief conservator of forest Santosh Kumar said that the information supplied by the police makes it evident that PFA had lodged a false complaint.
On the other hand, PFA alleged that Santosh Kumar was trying to divert the attention from the real issue, that is, death of ducklings and violation of laid down norms by the staff of forest department. “It’s a tactic to divert the attention,” said Cheetan Sharma.