Divisional Forest Officer, Ukhrul Forest Division, Government of Manipur on issued an orders to the fellow citizens of the Ukhrul District to abstai as a n from carrying air gun, SBBL in forest areas irrespective of ownership. Anyone, carrying such weapons without a valid permit may be detainedpreventive measure to avoid wildlife crime and their weapons be seized unless proven otherwise in the interest of wildlife.
By Tennoson Pheiray, TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Ukhrul Forest Division, Government of Manipur had issued an order on October 31, 2022 to detain any person carrying airgun and SBBL in forest areas and to seize the weapons without a valid permit from competent authority during the migratory period of Amur falcon and Grey-side thrush.
The order signed by DFO Ukhrul Forest Division, Shanngam S reads “it has come to the attention of the undersigned that there has been a rapid decline in the population of wildlife over the last few decades. Rampant hunting of birds and animals with sophisticated air gun and SBBL is the single major source of loss of biodiversity in the District. General excuse over hunting as practice by ancestor/forefathers does not justify the total depletion of wildlife in the district.
“It is quite apparent that those who purchase and carry such weapons in the District would use them against birds and animals and will disturb wildlife. It is reminded that under Section 9 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 “No person shal hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule I, II, III and IV except as provided under Section 11 and Section 12”. Section 11 and 12 gives certain permit to hunt in special cases by the competent authority. Anyone who contravenes any provision of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be punishable under Section 51:1 of WPA 1972:
a) with imprisonment for a minimum term of 3 years which may extend to 7 years and with fine not less than rupees ten thousand, in the case of an offence related to wild animals listed under Schedule -I and Part-II of Schedule-II.
b) with imprisonment for a term up to 3 years for with fine which may extend to twenty five thousand rupees or with both, in the case of an offence related to wild animals listed under Schedule -I and Part-II of Schedule-II.
c) in addition to the above penalty, all the tools including guns, vehicles etc used in commission of the offence are liable to be forfeited and any license including gun license or permit held by the offender is liable to be cancelled.
c) the person shall not be eligible for a license under the Arms Act, 1959 for a period of five years.
“Therefore, in the interest of wildlife and to prevent further loss of biodiversity, and in conjunction with the Order Vide No. 3/WL/2009/DC/(UKL) dated 19th October 2022 from the Office of Deputy Commissioner, Ukhrul District banning the air gun during the migratory period of Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) and Grey-sidr thrush (Turdus feae) commonly known as Shiri in local language, the undersigned hereby reiterate the ban of air gun for hunting of wildlife in the District. Air gun for target shooting and sports may be permitted upon taking prior permission from the competent authority.
“It is therefore requested to all the fellow citizens of the District to abstain from carrying such weapons in forest areas irrespective of ownership. Anyone, carrying such weapons without a valid permit may be detained as a preventive measure to avoid wildlife crime and their weapons be seized unless proven otherwise in the interest of wildlife.”
“Let us remember that it is our fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life , and to have a compassion for living creatures as enshrined under Article 51 A(g) of our constitution” added the orders.