Skip to main content

Locals, activists want defunct breeding centre for 'vulnerable' Kashmiri stag revived

By Basharat Rashid*
Wildlife authorities in Kashmir have recently announced that a group of hangul were captured by their lens in Shikargah wildlife sanctuary of Tral in Southern part of Kashmir, following which locals were seen very happy as there is apparent dearth of overall hangul population in Kashmir.
Sources said that "acting on the locals reports about the presence of hangul (Kashmiri stag) in Shikargah area, wildlife authorities had installed cameras there, which managed to capture around 10 hanguls."
"Wildlife team had installed two movement sensor based cameras in two locations on the top of Shikargah, which clicked the pictures and showed around ten hanguls there. This is for the first time that hanguls were captured in lens, which literally showed their presence here," they said.
However, the hangul population as per the locals is vulnerable, "which is the matter of grave concern and should be taken into consideration at the earliest."
In 2011-12, a hangul breeding centre was established in Shikargah wildlife sanctuary for the conservation of hangul and a lot of forest land was taken for its construction.
The centre "was constructed with crores of rupees and power fencing was raised all around the centre for the proper protection of deer population (hangul)."
After the completion of work on breeding centre, a deer was placed in it, following which a rush of people was witnessed there, but the said deer became 'prey to leopard' only after few days. Since then, centre continued to remain defunct.
The locals of the area have been witnessing the movement of hangul population in the area but wildlife authorities had no clue until they installed their cameras on the top, which finally confirmed the presence of hangul population in Shikargah.
The locals have however apprehension that they hangul population may be affected as they roam unnecessarily in residential areas and barge into the local orchards where they eat chemical (pesticides/insecticides) sprayed grass and leaves.
Wildlife authorities only made assurances for many years that they will capture the hangul to breed them securely in the centre but they failed
"Our apple orchards and vegetable fields were badly damaged by deer and they eat chemical sprayed leaves and grass there which may be harmful for them," a local Sartaj Ahmad said, adding that breeding centre could save the population.
Another local said that wildlife authorities only made assurances for many years that they will capture the hangul to breed them securely in the centre but they failed to manage it.
The area (health resort) is very beautiful and functioning of centre may boost tourism there and may help the deer population to survive.
Farooq Trali, a social activist, said that Shikargah is a well known place since Mahraja Hari Singh's rule, and non-functioning of hangul breeding centre there for years is unacceptable.
He said that government should enquire the reason behind the non-functioning of this crores worth project and should ensure its functioning again.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Kashmir, SK Gupta, during a recent tour to Shikargah wildlife sanctuary,  said that hangul is a sensitive species and their direct capturing may be intolerable for them.
He further said that they are trying to habituate them naturally and added that they will close the gates once they found hanguls inside the sanctuary.
"We will habituate them naturally without letting them know that they are occupied as breeding to the stressed animals is not possible," he said.
Pertinently, Shikargah has historical background as "many Bollywood celebrities and other dignitaries" had visited there decades back to enjoy its beautification.
The place is still a picnic spot for locals who visit there on daily basis to refresh themselves.
---
*Journalist based in Kashmir

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.