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From Leopard Attacks on Kids to Cruel Killing of Animals, Man-Animal Conflict in Himachal on Rise, But Issue Remains Unattended

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Leopard Maimed by Illegal Trap Gets Cruel Death, Locals Blame Forest Deptt for Inaction

Shimla-The Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh Government has been failing to attend to one of its essential duties; protecting humans from animals and vice-versa. Two very recent cases are sufficient to support the fact that the government needs to wake up and attend to the rapidly rising man-animal conflict.

During the last three months, two children aged 5-6-year-old became prey to leopard attacks in the urban areas of Shimla district (in the periphery of Shimla city).

In the most recent case, a 5-year-old was taken away by a leopard from his front yard in the Downdale area of the city on the eve of Diwali. Surprisingly, most animals tend to remain away from the residential areas, especially in an urban setting on Diwali due to the burning of firecrackers.

Previously, a 6-year-old girl was preyed upon by a leopard. She was also taken away from right outside the make-shift cabins of migrant labourers in Kanlog. The forest department had assured that cages were set up to capture the leopard.

Now, the people suspect it could be the same leopard as the sites of these two attacks appear to be within the territory of a single leopard. Also, a leopard spotting was reported in nearby Phagali a couple of days ago.

If it is, then the animal would have to be declared a man-eater. That implies that either the department would have to capture it or take it down. The situation speaks of the twofold loss – the loss of human life and the life of an animal. The rise of this conflict would ultimately lead to the killing of animals in order to save human lives and ensure their safety.

leopard attack in Shimla city

Search team during the search operation for the missing kid

However, the Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department didn’t show much concern after the first attack and worked on no concrete strategy to eliminate further encounters between humans and animals. Even after the second incident, which has created an uproar among the people against the alleged inactiveness of the department.

A report in a Hindi Daily said the forest department doesn’t have an appropriate caging system to capture leopards. Same cages, which the department uses to capture monkeys, are being set up to capture this leopard. The report suggested that the department isn’t even prepared to efficiently capture monkeys.

It was one side of the conflict, where two kids lost their life in leopard attacks leaving the parents in unimaginable pain.

In the second instance, a leopard died a cruel death because of the unscientific, as well as, illegal traps of various kinds laid for unlawful hunting, especially in rural areas. The animal’s rear legs were clutched between the jaws of a lethal trap, similar to a steel-jaw trap. The animal struggled and suffered for two days to get out of it and was found dead on the third day. This incident was reported from Thathal village, Amb, Una district.

Video Posted by A Local

Here, the locals alleged that the department was given information regarding an injured leopard after spotting it on a roadside on Saturday evening. A team of the forest department allegedly arrived at the spot without any preparation to catch and rescue the animal. As per locals, the team went away saying it would rescue it in the morning. However, the poor animal kept dragging itself with maimed and bleeding limbs for three days before some locals spotted its dead body. As per the locals, the dead animal was found just 50-100 meters away from the spot where it was first spotted on Saturday evening.

The forest department, however, says that it failed to capture the injured animal in three days, especially when it was in the same area. The department says it had begun the search and rescue operation on Saturday evening. But the locals alleged that the animal could have been saved if the department had acted swiftly.

Tathal leopard killing

Here the forest department not only failed to ensure the timely rescue of the animal but also failed to curb the bloody trend of laying illegal, cruel traps by hunters and locals.

Moreover, this is not an isolated instance of animals dying or being injured by such lethal traps. In a separate incident, last Sunday, in the Shahtalai area of the Bilaspur district, a cow lost its jaw after swallowing an explosive while grazing. The cow was left in pain with its mouth torn to pieces.

explosion in bilaspur cow

Inured Cow

Here the animal fell victim to a type of trap made of explosives for illegal hunting. The department is well aware that the laying of such traps for illegal hunting by locals and poachers is common in some areas. However, it doesn’t seem to be willing to curb this evil practice where animals are exposed to killing with excruciating suffering.

Also Read: Another leopard killed as gruesome poacher trap slits its throat, 3rd killings in Himachal in one month

Unfortunately, the forest department of the state government doesn’t enjoy a good reputation when it comes to allegations of corruption. It remains in controversies, the biggest of which was the Hoshiyar Singh case wherein a forest guard was found dead in a forest under mysterious circumstances. The case wasn’t investigated properly by the police and was then handed over to the CID but to no avail.

Also Read: Bilaspur-Planted Explosive Blows Off Cow’s Jaw

The Department should better prepare a plan and execute it to reduce man-animal conflict. In Shimla, the people demand that areas adjoining the forests should be fenced to prohibit entry of wild animals into residential areas, to provide sufficient street lighting, and swiftness in capturing animals when repeatedly seen in proximity to residential areas.

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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UHF Nauni Extends Online Plant Booking Date Till Dec 7

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Plant booking at uhf nauni 2021

Solan-Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has extended the last date for online booking of planting material prepared by the university’s main campus and its Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) at Solan. Interested farmers will now be able to book plants on the university online portal till December 7.

This year the booking for the planting material of apple, plum, apricot, peach, kiwi, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, etc. is being done online and farmers can submit their demand for plants by logging on the university website and visiting the ‘Farmers corner’ section. The university has advised the farmers to register themselves through their email address on the university portal.

The farmers who have not been able to submit their demand forms have also been advised to resubmit their demand forms.  

Applicants will have to fill in their complete postal address and the Khasra number of the land where the planting is to be carried out along with their contact details. After the OTP-based registration process is complete, applicants will be able to book plants for varieties supplied by the university. The plant varieties available for sale and distribution on this web portal have been grafted on seedling rootstock. The procedure for the sale and distribution of Nursery Fruit Plants from other University Research Stations and KVK’s will be the same as in previous years.

The university will start the allotment process after the booking is closed. Based on the total demand, the university will allot plants out of the available quantity. The allotment list will be made available on the university portal. The farmers will be also be notified about the date on which the plant will be available and from which nursery they will be provided.

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HP Police Becomes 8th State Police of India to Receive Presidents Colour Award

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HP Police Presidents Colours award

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Police organized the Presidents Colour Award ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground on December 1, 2021.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was the Chief Guest and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was also present as a special guest on the occasion. The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

While extending greetings and expressing happiness on receiving the Presidents Colour by Himachal Pradesh Police, the Governor said that it was the 8th State Police of India which has received this distinction.

“President Colour’ is a special achievement and this proves the state police ranks high in the service of humanity along with performance, professionalism, integrity, protection of human rights and other parameters,” said the Governor.

HP Police Presidents Colours award ceremony

The Governor honoured the State Police with the Presidents Colour Award which was received by the Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu.

He added that this feat has also been given to the State Police for the contribution of its personnel, who have worked tirelessly over the years to make it reliable, professional, honest and people-friendly. He said it would definitely motivate the Police personnel and they would work more readily in public service.

While interacting with media on the occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated the State Police for being awarded President’s Colours by the President of India for its meritorious services. He said that this Award was the highest point in the professional life of any uniform. 

Director-General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that the President’s Color’was not only an award but also a responsibility, which the Himachal Pradesh Police has to fulfil with more integrity, efficiency and discipline.

He added that every Jawan of the State Police should take a pledge to maintain security and peace in Devbhumi Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, the Governor inspected the Parade. On the occasion, the formation of Hollow Square by the Police Band, Pilling of drums and consecration of the colour was the main attraction

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