September 2, 2021 12:37:38 am
As staff from the Nagpur Municipal Corporation began a drive on Wednesday to catch stray pigs with the help of a dedicated animal catchers’ team brought in from Tamil Nadu, they were escorted by constables from the city police to ensure they faced no backlash from locals claiming ownership of the boars.
On Day 1 of the 10-day drive, the joint team, which included 20 members of the group from the southern state, managed to trap 18 pigs.
With over 4,000 stray pigs roaming on Nagpur streets, the civic body had sought help from the city police for security of its team conducting the drive to catch these animals. The request was made to avert a repeat of the problems the animal catchers faced in 2019, when they were attacked by locals, authorities said.
Officials said there were certain communities in the city which raised pigs in order to sell their meat; and instead of keeping them in a pen, the owners leave the animals out to roam on the city streets, much to the discomfort of other residents.
Following complaints from locals, the civic body decided to embark on a drive to catch stray pigs with the help of the team it has roped in from Tamil Nadu.
Nagpur’s deputy commissioner of police Basavaraj Teli of Special Branch issued a notification on Tuesday, instructing the force to provide manpower as per the request made by the municipal authorities.
Teli told The Indian Express: “We received an application from the municipal commissioner asking for assistance. We will provide them adequate service as and when required.”
The authorities further said that a team comprising around 20 animal catchers arrived in Nagpur from Tamil Nadu to participate in the drive.
In the 2019 drive, as many as 1,000 pigs were caught and sent to Tamil Nadu.
Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B said, “This is a 10-day drive that we have decided to carry out. The team that we have called from Tamil Nadu has conducted such drives in different cities in the past.”
Animal husbandry officer Gajendra Mahale said there were more than 4,000 boars roaming in the city, adding, “We have received complaints that they often enter the houses of other people, causing discomfort due to their unhygienic condition.”
A member of the pig-catching team said the exercise to net the animals and take them outside the city limits was not an easy one.
“We often face protests from the locals as owing to vested interest or other financial reasons, many come out and claim that these pigs belong to them. If these pigs are theirs then they should initiate stall feeding and keep these boars with them,” said an official.
Recounting the team’s experience in 2019, Mahale said, “The locals raised objections (to catching of the pigs) but we still continued after which they pelted us with stones, injuring many of our officers.”
Meanwhile, police officials have been instructed to provide security to the animal catchers not just on the field but also on the premises of the hotel where they are staying.
The police officials will be escorting the vehicles of the animal catchers till they leave the city limits along with the trapped stray pigs, officials said.
In his notification, Teli said a police sub inspector-ranked officer will assist the municipal authorities in the exercise. Senior police inspector of Jaripatka, New Kamptee and Kalamana police stations have been directed to provide a total of 11 constables to escort the vehicles carrying stray boars outside the city.
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