Poacher Fined Under WLPA, 1972

IMPHAL, Mar 14: In the first ever conviction under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 in Manipur,  a man, who was found loitering inside the Keibul Lamjao National Park with gun, has been fined Rs 5,000 and remanded to police custody for 6 days. The license of the gun being carried by the man has also been subsequently cancelled.

An order issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bishnupur imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 against the alleged poacher and the license of his gun was cancelled.

Although the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has been implemented in Manipur long ago, this is the first time that a man who was found carrying gun inside any National Park and Sanctuary has been ever arrested and remanded into police custody as well as cancels the license of the gun.

Unauthorized entry of any person, with or without gun, inside the National Park or Sanctuary is forbidden under the Wild Life Protection Act. Even in the event of any person residing within 10 kms of the National Park or Sanctuary possessing licensed gun, he or she should registered it with the Wild Life Wing of the Forest Department. In case of any plan to possess licensed gun newly, prior permission of the Wild Life Wing is essential.

In defiance of this Act, one Md Chaoba (40) s/o late Md Amu of Phoubakchao under Imphal West district was reportedly found loitering around carrying his licensed gun inside the Ngarakom area of Keibul Lamjao National Park at around 2.45 pm on April 23, 2010. He was accordingly arrested by the personnel of the National Park with the help of Mayang Imphal police. One double barrel gun and 10 live rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the possession Md Chaoba.

During subsequent verification, it came to light that his gun has also not been registered under relevant section of the Wild Life Protection Act. Accordingly, Md Chaoba was booked and a case registered against him.

In the trial of the case conducted in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bishnupur, Advocate Rabei represented as counsel from the side of the State Government while Advocate E Amujao on behalf of the accused. After a detailed scrutiny and hearing both parties, the Chief Judicial Magistrate ordered that the accused Md Chaoba be fined Rs 5000 and his gun license cancelled.

Talking to The Sangai Express in connection with this case, Deputy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) L Joykumar observed that though the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 has been enforced in Manipur like in any other States of the country, not many people know about it. The Forest Department and legislation alone would not be able to ensure protection of Sangais inside Keibul Lamjao National Park without the co-operation of the public. So, there is the need to understand the provisions of the Act by all.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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