FIR against Tangla Municipal EM over Egret killing row

Dispur: The Environment & Forest Department authorities have filed an FIR against Executive Member of Tangla Municipal Board, Shantanu Das for his action leading to the killing of scores of egrets at Jalukbari area in Assam’s Udalguri district.

Following a directive from Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to enquire into the incident of killing of egrets on Friday, Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya directed Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Amit Sahai to probe into the incident and submit a report immediately.

Divisional Forest Officer NK Bordoloi investigated the incident and found that Shantanu Das had served notices on June 8 to five residents of Ward No 1 and No 2 to clear the bamboo grooves nesting the egrets. The notice claimed that the droppings of birds were creating an unhygienic environment which may increase the risk of COVID-19 infection in the area.

Scores of birds were killed when the bamboo groove was hewn by municipal workers.

Meanwhile, the Forest authorities have filed an FIR against the Executive Member for the unfortunate incident at the Tangla Police Station. Also, a case will be filed against Das under Section 55 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udalguri.

Divisional Forest Officer, Bordoloi informed that 88 egret fledglings have been rescued and sent to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Kaziranga.

Egrets are listed under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

The local forest authorities are planning to hold awareness meetings with leading citizens, NGOs, and government officials on the need to protect wildlife.

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