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

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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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Amit Shah’s West Bengal speech clear call for Hindu Rashtra: PDP

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday termed the BJP President Amit Shah’s West Bengal speech an open call for a Hindu Rashtra and said that the Saffron party chief has challenged the very idea of India.

Shah while addressing a rally at West Bengal said that Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh need not be afraid in India because the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has been brought to grant them citizenship. He also termed Muslims as infiltrators and stated that time for their deportation has come.

“This is nothing but an open call for a Hindu Rashtra. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in itself is laying foundations of a Hindu Rashtra and exclusion of Muslims and Christians. What Amit Shah has said is communal poison and this is a moment of challenge for right thinking Indians who still believe in Idea of India as we have always been made to believe,” said senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar.

 

He added that the statement of BJP President has sent a very negative message to the communities other than the country’s majority community. Such remarks, said Akhtar, aren’t being taken positively in the states like Jammu and Kashmir which have Muslim majority character and other states with sizeable Muslim and Christian population like Kerala, West Bengal, UP and Bihar and northeast states.

“What Amit Shah has said negates the essence, letter, and spirit of the constitution of India which is a covenant of all communities, all classes, and all people of the county to live together,” Akhtar said.

The PDP leader said that the BJP is setting up a dangerous game for electoral gains in the country and is playing a communal hatred card as last resort to win elections. “Unfortunately, BJP has only one goal and that is to win elections at whatever cost. The real issues facing the country including the problems of Jammu and Kashmir which are of a major nature besides joblessness, agrarian crises have been thrown in cold storage,” Akhtar said.

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Beware of activists impacting K-movement: Geelani to Youth

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Srinagar, Jan 23: When young blood is so enthusiastic to achieve their goal, no power on earth can force them to subjugation; this was stated by Hurriyat (g) Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, in a telephonic address to the mourners of the slain  Dr Shams-ul-Haq at Soghan Shopian on Wednesday.

Quoting Geelani, the spokesman in a statement said that Hurriyat (g) chairman reiterated his pledge to take the movement to its logical end and will never allow anybody to barter the precious blood of “martyrs”.

“We need to be aware of this and we are duty bound to safeguard their sacrifices and should desist from such activities which prove detrimental for our movement,” he said.

 

He said that deceitful slogans of development, prosperity or material gains can never be a substitute for freedom. Politicians have turned into political leeches, sucking every drop of our blood to satisfy their “masters” in Delhi.

The separatist leader said that our movement has become so precious that no perk and privilege can compel us for any compromise.

Stressing upon people in general and youth in particular, Hurriyat (g) chairman said that we need to strengthen our faith and protect our civil, social, religious and human liberties, avoid miss deeds and nourish the Islamic culture in our homes and society without indulging in sectarian hatred and social evils.

 

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Forces ‘torture’ compels youth to join militancy: Yasin Malik

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik while condemning the ongoing “killings” in Kashmir on Wednesday said that killing of more than half a dozen Kashmiris at Budgam and Shopian during last two days and assault on a civilian at Haba-Kadal are “exhibition of colonial mindset of government forces who only know to kill, injured and humiliate humans at will”.

The party spokesman said that killing of many more youth at Budgam and Shopian namely Syed Rubaan, Zahid Ahmad, Shams-Ul-Haq, Tawseef Ahmad, Sabzar Ahmad, Amir Ahmad Butt, as part of unabated killings, JKLF chairman said that first government forces “torture, torment, humiliate Kashmiri youth and leave no place for them to pursue a peaceful path and then eliminate them in CASO’s and crackdowns”.

Citing the example of a young Syed Ruban of Nazneenpora Shopian, Malik said that one of his relatives had joined militancy, and then the army, SOG and police started raiding his house, arresting him, torturing and humiliating this gentle soul on daily basis.

 

On June 19, 2018, his residence was raided during night hours and he along with his brother Syed Tajamul was severely tortured and this humiliating torture became a turning point for him as he left his

Meanwhile, JKLF chairman has expressed his heartfelt grief and sorrow over the demise of youthful Abdul Rashid Shigan of Batamaloo presently at HMT who passed away recently.

 

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