Tied to a tree with a rope on January 2 night, a langur (species Semnopithecus hector), allegedly engaged to ward off monkeys from Vasant Kunj, was left to rot after it lost its life on the job on Wednesday.
The langur, according to animal rights activist Sonya Ghosh, died after getting entangled in the branches of the tree. Soon after, its body was packed into a gunny bag by its handler, and disposed of in the forest behind the residential colony.
DCP (southwest) Milind Dumbere said, “We have registered an FIR against unknown persons and started our investigation. We are questioning residents of the area and trying to get some leads.”
Under the country’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the langurs are a protected species and cannot be used for any commercial purpose. Any violation entails a three-year jail term. Langurs are found in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
A team of officials from the Delhi government’s forest and wildlife department visited Vasant Kunj on Wednesday. A post-mortem was also carried out. According to sources, however, since the body of the langur was not kept in a mortuary, it had started putrefying by the time the autopsy was conducted.
Each year, dozens of langurs are rescued from the city by NGOs and rehabilitated. Their demand, however, keeps increasing as monkey menace refuses to abate.
Ghosh, who was part of the Delhi government’s committee to rehabilitate monkeys, said, “Most of these animals are caught by traders from Rajasthan. They are then packed off to handlers who take them to residential colonies to scare away monkeys. The handlers are not given any money to feed the animal and they survive on scraps donated by people.”