TODAY -

Hunting, trapping birds rife in Ukhrul
Gambling for wildlife meat is in vogue now

Source: The Sangai Express / Mungchan Zimik

Ukhrul, November 24 2022: At a time when call for protection of wildlife is ever growing, flesh of wild animals are being put up as prizes for raffle draws in open in Ukhrul district.

Killing of wild animals is prohibited as per the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and most of the offences are punishable with jail terms.

However, this clearly has not deterred many in the district as fleshes of poached animals are on display in broad daylight as prizes in draws, interestingly popular among many.

The predominantly Christian district of Ukhrul has become a den of "gamblers" .

And many are busy in organising fairs and melas to earn easy money on the "pretext of raising funds".

The raffle draws and such melas have been here in the main market and other places of the town since the past many days.

While many Ukhrul civil society organisations including the Churches are very stringent against intoxicants and enforce various measures to curb it, the raffle draws with fleshes as prizes seem to elude them.

There have been no visible drives in place to curb such activities.

More importantly, the district law enforcement agencies, both the police and the forest authorities have not taken any action against these unlawful activities taking place in the heart of the district headquarters.

Wild animals like wild boar, deer and others are being poached and chopped to pieces for use as prizes for the raffle draws.

Pheasant birds, Shiri (Grey-sided thrush), squirrels, flying foxes etc are also being put up as prizes in full public view as the organisers have been left scot-free.

Recently, the Ukhrul Divisional Forest office had made a wide public announcement banning air guns and poaching of wild animals.

But that has now proved to be only lip service without any action initiated against the violators.

When this correspondent interacted with some persons around a marketplace where there was a raffle draw, they said people were buying tickets costing Rs 100 to Rs 500 to try their luck and win "meat" and the wild birds.

When enquired how they were organising the draws, persons claiming to be organisers said they had obtained permissions from the "authorities concerned".

Tambola (housie), dice games/lagao, cards, raffle draws are becoming a common sight at many pockets in Ukhrul town.

Mainly along the Awontang to Mini Secretariat stretch, about 5 kilometers, has become a den for such activities causing much inconveniences to pedestrians and people in the areas.

While some make easy money, many are losing much.

Many parents are becoming increasingly annoyed as their children and young teens are being sucked into gambling activities.

The parents are also fed up as they couldn't meet their children's demand for money to partake in the draws.

These rampant gambling activities are becoming a menace and law enforcement agencies should do the needful and check such activities.

If left alone for long, these activities would have detrimental impact on the society and the children, said some of the parents.

"When will the police and the Forest Department take action ? Ukhrul district has become a lawless land.

The gamblers have taken over our town.

They start early in the morning and continue till late night.

The people are beirig disturbed.

This should stop immediately," a woman said.

Another said, aside from all the disturbances such activities give, hunting of wild animals needs to be stopped.


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