Tripura Forest Official Suspended Over Zoo Lion Naming Controversy

Northeast Desk, 26th February: The Tripura government has taken action against senior Tripura Forest Official Pravin Lal Agrawal, IFS, who serves as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden, amidst a controversy surrounding the naming of a zoo lion and lioness as Akbar and Sita, respectively, prior to their transfer to West Bengal.

The suspension of Agrawal follows a complaint filed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to the Calcutta High Court, alleging that the names chosen for the animals hurt religious sentiments.

The animals in question were relocated from the Sepahijala Zoo in Tripura to the North Bengal Wild Animals Park in Siliguri, North Bengal, on February 12.

An official order from the Tripura Government stated that disciplinary proceedings against P.L. Agrawal, IFS (TR:1994), are contemplated/pending. The order further announced Agrawal’s immediate suspension in accordance with the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.

During the period of suspension, Agrawal has been instructed to remain at his headquarters in Agartala and is prohibited from leaving without prior permission from the competent authority.

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