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Man-animal conflict incidents on decrease in north Kashmir, says officials

Monitor News Bureau

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SOPORE, JAN 2: Mushtaq Ahmad Malik, who escaped death on November two last year in a bear attack at Tujjar Sharief village on the outskirts of Sopore, is so scared that he is not coming out of his house alone. He remains confined to a corner of his house and seldom goes out but another family member has to accompany him, his family members said.
Malik and three women were grazing cattle in nearby forest area when a black bear attacked them on November 2, 2017. Malik suffered multiple injuries as the wild animal attacked him across his nose and eyes damaging his face. He was treated at to Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura for months together.
Man-Animal conflict according to officials is very old in Jammu and Kashmir but people seldom reported the attacks earlier.
In 2016, human-wildlife conflict claimed 8 lives in parts of North Kashmir, and 45 people were injured by animals. In 2017, according to the Wildlife Protection Department, Sopore, 9 people were injured and death of a girl was reported from Uri, Baramulla.
Earlier in the year 2014-2015 the figure of dead and injured was much higher than the current data. An official data procured by Kashmir Wire from Wildlife Department Sopore revealed that decrease in man-animal conflict in 2016 and 2017, thanks to awareness programmes and precautionary measures initiated by the department about man-animal conflict through print and electronic media, Mohammad Sadiq Mir, Wildlife Warden North Kashmir, Sopore said .
“The graph of man-animal conflict is going down for the last 2-3 years. Appearances of black bear have increased but attacks on humans have decreased. Deaths too have reduced in last few years as compared to earlier years. Even attacks have decreased but that doesn’t mean there is no conflict. Human beings intrude into the forest areas and the wild animals in search of food visit the human habitations. It is where the conflict arises,” Wildlife Warden North Kashmir told Kashmir Wire.
Mohammad Sadiq believes that the shrinking of buffer zones, a space between forest and human habitation is the main cause of man- animal conflict.
He said that 15 years back there was a vast space between forest area and the human habitation. With the increase of population, people started encroaching forest areas; the buffer zone squeezed which in turn increased the man -animal conflict. However, an increase in the population of black bear is seen a main cause in the man- animal conflict, he added.
According to him outside protective areas (wild life sanctuaries, nurseries) such episodes happen very less because animals have enough feed. “You can see only one per cent attacks.
These man- animal conflict stories mostly arise from non protected areas. In unprotected areas, they don’t find feed, so they visit villages and towns, orchards and there only happens man- animal conflict,” he said.
Officials in the department said that with a change in agriculture practices, the increase of man- animal conflict is evident. “Earlier we used to cultivate maize, wheat but nowadays we have turned our agriculture fields into orchards. That’s also a reason to man- animal conflict. From one orchard to another, the wild animal crosses villages and reaches towns and when it fears for its life, the wild animal attacks the humans,” the official said.
Asked if there is any dearth of equipments or manpower in the department, Mohammad Sadiq said that the department has state –of- the- art equipments available with them and control rooms at divisional and District levels which has also decreased the number of causalities and injuries of human lives.
“Whenever we get call, our men equipped with guns and tranquilizers reach to the area in rescue vans. We have special tranquilized guns, trained staff, we have special cages. So there is no such case of problem from our side. The concept of funds is very minuscule in our department. We don’t need funds but yes dearth of manpower is there. We engage local people whenever we need them for rescue purposes. We have to deal such incidents despite lack of staff,” Wildlife warden added.
In 2006 state government approved compensation with regard to man -animal conflict. Human lives lost in man- animal conflict are now being compensated by the government with a sum of Rs. three lakhs, up to Rs.1 lakh for grievous injuries and Rs.10,000 for minor injuries. Wildlife warden said that compensation has also made it easy for the department to check the man animal conflict, as people now report such incidents for seeking compensation.


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State

Maharaja’s atrocities will always haunt Kashmiris: Er Rasheed

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Srinagar, July 19: Reacting to a comment by Vikram Aditya Singh-Congress leader and Maharaja’s grandson, for insulting martyrs of July 13, 1931, AIP President Er Rasheed said that the statement made is shameful, distortion of the facts and misleading.
In a statement issued on Friday, Rasheed said that Singh must collect the courage and apologize for the huge atrocities his grandfather committed on innocent Kashmiris. He said “those praising Maharaja must not forget that Maharaja had bulldozed basic rights of citizens, snatched their religious freedom and given liberty even to his Chowkidars to murder and rape anyone they would wish. From Maharaja to his ordinary Chowkidars everyone would treat state like its concubine and their process of looting even day to day edibles of common masses was far worse than today’s gangsters. Those who were martyred on 13th July 1931 will remain, national heroes, till doomsday and every year on 13th July Maharaja’s dark era will be condemned.”
He said history can never forgive Hari Singh for the massacre of Nov 1947 by his army killing lakhs of Muslims in Jammu province. The state-sponsored genocide was the beginning of demographic changes in the state.
Rasheed asked NC and PDP to collect the courage and apologize for supporting Vikram Aditya Singh in recently concluded Parliamentary elections. He added that Singh’s statement insulting martyrs has exposed not only the dual face of Congress but that of NC and PDP as well.
Rasheed added that history will always remember the martyrs of 13th July 1931 who had a vision, conviction, commitment and courage to sacrifice their lives against Maharaja’s autocracy and thus created a history by bringing awareness among masses that how much mighty any autocratic ruler maybe, he has to surrender before the will of masses. Rasheed also condemned the incident in which a prominent citizen was crying for not being allowed to carry forward the dead body of his father by the security forces on the national highway, the spokesman of the party said in a statement issued to media.

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NC dubs remarks as ‘horrendous, uneducated’

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Srinagar, July 19: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Friday rejected the remarks on the 1931 martyrs by some quarters as horrendous and obnoxious, saying the day marked the open revolt against a despotic, pitiless and tyrant autocratic government.
Reacting sharply to the obnoxious remarks emanating from some untutored sections against the martyrs of 1931, party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said such brutish assertions against the martyrs who laid their lives for the dignity and self respect shows the disdain the scions of erstwhile autocrats hold for the cherished values of democracy. “The party had on various occasions rejected such assertions from time to time as having emanated from the untutored and communal elements. The uprising of 1931 was that of an oppressed against the oppressors, of defenseless against the armed, of poor against the landed gentry. The day marked the commencement of a peaceful struggle by the unarmed people against the then anti-Muslim and anti people government.”
“A ruthless autocratic government that taxed almost everything under sky, leaving just water and air for free for the poor masses. Such uncouth and untaught assertions of erstwhile autocratic scion cannot help him exonerate his family from unleashing the worst torments on the people of Kashmir in the shape of forced-labor (Begaar); the taxes were even levied on the cattle, marriages, and houses. The autocratic regime deputed revenue teams who used to collect revenue in kind for which sepoys were disputed to villages that used to create havoc in the villages. The revenue was collected with such severity and harshness that the cultivators had to sell even their belongings including cattle and sheep,” he added.
He said the worst feature of the worst attribute of the Dogra rule was its communal outlook. “It discriminated the Muslims on the basis of their religion and also interfered in their religious affairs. The Muslims were particularly marginalized. There was no Muslim representation in government offices. There was not a single Muslim gazetted officer in most of the departments, like defense, hunting, scientific research, libraries, archaeology, and agriculture. Major Muslim mosques were converted into Stables and stores,” he said adding, “It was due to the supreme and sacred sacrifice of the martyrs of 1931 that the state finally got the freedom after 118 years. And it was Sher e Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who painstakingly strived towards the fulfillment of the mission of martyrs of 1931. The coming generations will continue to draw inspiration from the martyrs of 1931. The supreme sacrifice of the martyrs will continue to guide our party in all its future endeavors.”

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DGP releases ‘Beyond Alcoholism and Drug Addiction’

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 19: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Friday released a book titled “Beyond Alcoholism and Drug Addiction” written by Ajay Vaid at Police Headquarters, Srinagar.
On this occasion the DGP said that the narrative of the book is the need of the hour. He said that J&K Police has already tightened the noose on the menace of drugs, many steps are being taken to fight the drugs. He said that this book not only provides information about the drug abuse and its effects but also informs that addiction is a treatable disorder.
DGP congratulated the author and said that this book would be useful for all those who are taking initiatives to curb the menace.
Written by Ajay Vaid, the book has been prepared to create knowledge and awareness about alcoholism and drug addiction. The book provides certain ways and means as how to face addiction and manage to keep away from it.
This is the author’s 3rd book. Earlier, he has written a book on ‘Tourism Destinations in India’ in 2011 and the 2nd book he has written is on ‘Exams, Job, Career and burning environment issues’ in the year 2012.
On the occasion ADGP (Headquarters) PHQ A. G. Mir and AIG (Prov. & Tpt.) PHQ Mubassir Latifi were also present on the occasion.

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