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Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Saturday, December 3, 2022

FIR against Sadhguru, Assam CM for alleged violation of Wildlife Act

Spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma took a jeep safari inside Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) at night.

GUWAHATI:

Country’s much-hyped spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev entered Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) along with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his cabinet colleague Jayanta Mallah Baruah on September 24 night, which has prompted two villagers to lodge an FIR with Bokakhat police station on September 25.

In a video that has gone viral, Sadhguru was seen driving a jeep inside the national park on Saturday night with Sarma beside him. Baruah and several others also accompanied Sadhguru in the jeep safari.

The chief minister along with Sadhguru opened the National Park for tourists on Saturday (September 24) even as its scheduled date was October 15.

The incident has triggered protests from various environmental organisations as there is a question of violation of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 by entering the park after 4.30 pm.

Two villagers, Soneswar Narah (Morongial gaon) and Prabin Pegu (Balijan Adarsha Mising Gaon), lodged an FIR with Bokakhat Police Station on Sunday against Sadhguru, Sarma and Baruah demanding that the police book them under the provision of law.

“We lodged an FIR with Bokakhat Police Station. We demand the arrest of all the members of the delegation for violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The law should be equal for all. Sadhguru and the chief minister took the jeep ride at night even as it is prohibited after 4.30 pm,” Soneswar Narah told reporters after filing the FIR.

“We demand their arrest or the entire team should beg public apology for it,” Narah said.

“The relaxation of the rules for Sadhguru and the chief minister will remain a threat for the protection of wildlife in the national park. The police should show their fundamental duty by arresting them,” Narah also said.

“For the cause of the Wildlife Protection Act, many of our youths had to sacrifice their life. Many sustained injuries. We have to sacrifice many things for the park. Our people sacrificed hundreds of bighas of land, wetland and beels, cattle to feed the tigers and many others. We are not allowed to go inside the park for collection of firewood or herb for our tribal festivals. Himanta Biswa’s contribution to the national park is negligible compared to ours,” he said.

“We need justice. We are waiting for police action,” he added.

Reacting to the incident, senior journalist and environmental activist Apurba Ballav Goswami said: “It is unfortunate. If a chief minister violates rule what would be left to the commoners?”

“An inquiry should be initiated into the entire incident. There should not be a threat to the environment and wildlife,” said Mubina Akhtar, another environmental activist.

On Saturday, Sadhguru addressed Assam ministers, MLAs and officials at a ‘Chinton Shivir’ programme organised by the BJP-led government at Borgoss Resort nearby.

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