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Rajaji not keen to act against ashrams

 

Pioneer, Delhi, Sunday 1st December 2013

The Rajaji national park authorities appear to be reluctant to take action against illegal use of captive langurs in prominent ashrams at Rishikesh and Haridwar as ordered by the Chief Wildlife Warden.

No action has been taken against the person dealing illegally in these animals which are used in various prominent ashrams for scaring away macaques. In the first week of October this year, the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden SS Sharma had written a letter to the Rajaji field director SP Subudhi, a copy of which is with The Pioneer. Citing the complaint by People For Animals, Uttarakhand, Sharma had directed Subudhi to investigate the ashrams where langurs are kept in illegal captivity for use in scaring away the macaques from ashram premises.

The Rajaji director had been directed to file a police complaint and take necessary action against the person holding the simians in illegal captivity and ‘supplying’ the same to Ashrams. However, animal rights activists complain that no visible action has been taken by the authorities so far. According to the PFA, “The Ministry of Environment and Forests has banned the use of langurs for scaring away macaques. A langur can be trained only if it is captured when young and in order to do this, its mother and probably other members of its troop have to be killed by trappers which means that at least one langur is killed for every langur captured young and trained to scare away macaques,” she said.