Gujarat: Five fishermen arrested for ‘poaching’ birds in Junagadh

The forest officers said that acting on a tip off, they apprehended Ibrahim, Merabhai, Hussain, Juma and Abdul with carcasses of six common cranes and four lesser flamingos on Wednesday.

FIVE FISHERMEN were arrested by the forest department after they allegedly poached 10 birds, including six migratory common cranes, from a wetland in coastal Chorvad town in Junagadh district, forest officers said on Friday.

The forest officers said that acting on a tip off, they arrested Ibrahim, Merabhai, Hussain, Juma and Abdul with carcasses of six common cranes and four lesser flamingos on Wednesday. “The five accused are fishermen of Chorwad and had poached the birds by trapping them in nets tied to kites. During interrogation, they said that they eat fish regularly but for a change, they poached the birds and intended to consume them,” Ashok Amin, range forest officer of Malia range in Gir (west) wildlife division, said.

Common cranes migrate to Gujarat and other parts of western India to escape harsh winter in Central Asia. These birds roost near wetlands and in farmlands till the onset of summer. However, isolated incidents of their poaching are ported from Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath etc.

Forest officers said that the fishermen were released after they paid a monetary fine. “Both common cranes and lesser flamingos are Schedule-IV (of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972) and the offence was compoundable. We compounded the offence against the accused after they paid cumulative Rs25000 compounding fee,” Amin added.

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