The Kashmir Monitor impact: Wildlife dept seeks help from police to stop poaching of migratory birds
Srinagar: Waking up to growing incidents of poaching, the wildlife department has sought help from Jammu and Kashmir police and Forest Protection Force to prevent hunting and sale of migratory birds.
Earlier two of four rare whooper swan, which arrived in Kashmir after 60 years, were killed by the poachers.
The Kashmir Monitor was the first to report about the poaching of rare swans. Following the report, authorities launched a manhunt to apprehend the poachers, who are believed to have killed the rare birds in north Kashmir.
“Wildlife Protection Department seeks assistance from the Forest Protection Force and local police to prevent hunting, poaching, capturing and sale of these migratory birds in the wetlands of Kashmir,” Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir Rashid Y Naqash said in an official communiqué.
The regional wildlife warden said any person involved in hunting and packing is liable for imprisonment and fine.
“Any person who ventures to hunt, poach, capture or sell these birds is liable to a jail term of one year along with fine up to Rs 10,000. Hunting, poaching, capturing or sale of these birds are non-bailable and non-compoundable offences,” he said.
The regional wildlife warden said the Wildlife Protection Department has already registered numerous criminal cases against the poachers.
“The persons so caught are prosecuted under the stringent criminal law provisions and many such cases are pending before criminal courts of Kashmir. The courts are taking a serious view of the offences committed against these birds including rejection of bail applications and declining permission to release the weapons seized from such persons,” he said.
Every year wetlands of Kashmir valley receive lakhs of migratory birds from across the world including Siberia, Central Asia, China, and other countries.
Wildlife Warden, Wetlands, Ifshan Dewan said the department would take adequate measures to protect the birds in order to make Kashmir a safer winter destination.
“We receive several species of birds every year. We have put our teams on alert in all the wetlands to keep a watch on the birds and protect them from any sort of harm by humans,” she said.