At least 30 animal rights activists, armed with placards and banners, gathered outside Ranade Institute opposite Roopali restaurant on Sunday evening to protest against the killing of Nilgai or blue antelopes. The demonstration, which lasted for two hours — from 4 pm to 6 pm — was organised by two city-based organisations, Wild and Vriksham, which respectively work for animals and the environment.
Vinod Jain, one of the organisers, said, “The step taken by the government is not just inhumane and senseless but also cowardly. There are so many solutions to the problem and there was no need to kill 200 Nilgais. It’s a herbivorous animal which lives on grass. Firstly, it’s the man who has entered the animal’s territory and then they complain, his crops are getting destroyed.”
Suggesting alternative methods that could have been adopted instead of killing the animal, he said that farmers can fence their farms with either thorny plants or solar power security fencing which has a voltage of 40 to 80 watt. “Even after killing, can the government guarantee that no animal will enter any farm field ever,” he asks, adding that the move is against the Indian Constitution that advocates protection of wildlife and environment as well.
Three days ago, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi had criticised Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar’s move of allowing the killing of 200 Nilgai in Bihar after he received reports about crops being destroyed there due to a large number of Nilgai. Many animal rights activists and animal lovers across the country have criticised the decision on social media as well.