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Thursday, December 12, 2019

MLA’s emus,exotic birds… pvt zoo or collection?

He points to his “lineage” to explain his “private collection” of exotic birds and animals.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: February 24, 2012 1:24:51 am

He points to his “lineage” to explain his “private collection” of exotic birds and animals.

Asif Mohammed Khan,MLA from Jasola in South Delhi,claims that his emus,turkeys,exotic pigeons,mini doves,Marwari horses and a hound are not part of any “private zoo”. He says he is related to a family of landlords and rearing of animals is a sign of “aristocracy”.

But the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the government to respond to a plea seeking action against the Jasola MLA for allegedly encroaching upon government land and running an illegal zoo on it.

Rejecting the charge,Khan blamed it on his “rivals in the government” who want to see him in a “tight spot”.

Showing off his collection of mini doves and ‘masakali’ pigeons,Khan says his passion for exotic birds and animals comes from his “privileged lineage of land-owing class”.

Five emus and 12 turkeys,bought from various sellers in Delhi,are reared on what Khan claims is his 2,000 sqm. Also part of the collection are 60 pigeons,a dog,buffaloes,imported poultry and doves.

Shooing away the goats eating plants at his boundary-less plot,Khan says he had 12 emus but seven were killed by dogs who stole into the barn.

An independent MLA,Khan says he started rearing exotic birds and horses for a commercial enterprise.

“I started a playschool 10 years ago at this plot. I kept horses for giving riding lessons,” Khan said. “My collection of imported birds and animals is not a zoo. The land belongs to me.”

But that the government has been told to check.

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