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Chhatbir zoo employees protest against director

A Police complaint lodged by the field director of Chhatbir Zoological Park against three Class IV employees sparked a massive protest here on Wednesday.

Written by Express News Service | Chhatbir (mohali) |
May 27, 2010 12:11:40 am

8 eggs of a rare Chinese hen were reported missing following which T K Bahera had lodged a police complaint

A Police complaint lodged by the field director of Chhatbir Zoological Park against three Class IV employees sparked a massive protest here on Wednesday.

Around 150 employees,including zookeepers,caretakers,guards and peons,assembled outside director T K Bahera’s office and raised slogans against him.

They even blocked the way and did not allow him to go home and carried on the protest till late in the evening.

Gurmail Singh,president of Chhatbir Employees’ Union,and Banda Singh,chairman of Class IV Government Employees’ Union,said eight eggs of a rare Chinese hen ‘Emrest Fizard’ had gone missing from its enclosure on Tuesday morning,following which zookeeper Jarnail Singh,cleaners Hari Ram and Jeet Singh reported the matter to Range Officer Raminder Singh. He in turn informed Field Director T K Bahera.

“Without trying to ascertain the facts,Bahera lodged a police complaint against three employees despite them requesting him for some time to trace the misplaced eggs,” they alleged.

The union leaders claimed that during a search,the employees found that the eggs were actually eaten by a cobra,which had entered the bird’s enclosure.

“We caught the cobra from a hole beneath the bird’s cage. It ejected the residues of three eggs from its mouth,” they further claimed.

Though the field director withdrew the police complaint after he was informed,the irate employees continued their protest and levelled allegations of negligence and misconduct on the director.

They said daily wagers of the zoo have not been paid since the last three months and were not provided uniforms for five years.

“The fodder used to feed animals is now purchased from outside,which is costlier than crops grown in the vacant zoo land earlier,” they further alleged,while claiming that the use of expired injections was the reason behind the death of black bucks in the zoo recently.

Highlighting the lack of care of animals,they said the enclosures of the birds and animals have not been changed for the last 40 years.

Refuting the charges as “false and baseless”,

Bahera said Emrest Fizard is a rare Chinese breed and after eight eggs were found missing,a police complaint was lodged against the employees. “When the eggs were found,I withdrew the complaint,” he added.

Meanwhile,the employees have demanded a high-level probe and immediate transfer of the field director.

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