The Gujarat government on Wednesday admitted in the Gujarat Assembly about migratory birds being poached at Nal Sarovar Sanctuary, which is one of the biggest bird sanctuaries in the country.
“The incident of poaching is true. A total of 63 birds were seized alive,” stated the government about a poaching incident that occurred in the sanctuary in January 2016 when a boat full of migratory birds were seized from a suspected poacher near Ranagarh village. The government, in reply to an unstarred question raised by Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil, said that one suspect Ramesh Domada, a resident of Ranagarh village, has been arrested in connection with the incident. The accused was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and legal proceedings were undertaken.
The government claimed that 26 jawans of the State Reserve Police force were helping guard the sanctuary that is spread over an area of 120 square kilometres.
In order to prevent poaching, the government has also equipped the forest department staff with watchtowers, walkie-talkies, guns and binoculars. Apart from these, two teams of the forest department provide round-the-clock surveillance, the reply added.
A Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report, tabled in the state Assembly in April, 2016, had rapped the Gujarat government for “rampant poaching” and for not taking adequate steps for protecting the birds at Nal Sarovar.