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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Impose Sec 144 of CrPC if wild animal strays, suggests NTCA

New Delhi: If a wild animal like tiger or leopard strays into human habitat, impose Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that prohibits assembly of more than four persons in a particular area. This is part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) developed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to prevent attacks with an aim of ensuring that such wild carnivores do not fall victim of mob fury as also not to cause injuries to people by the animal. The SOP argues that such a measure is essential to avoid agitation by excited local people surrounding the animal spot which hampers capture operation, leading to serious injuries on people and staff. "In all, instances of wild carnivores like tiger/leopard straying into a human dominated landscape, the district authorities need to ensure law and order by imposing section 144 of the CrPc," it says. It also says that police police and local administration to be involved at an early stage of such incidents. "Effective coordination with them is critical to control mobs which as has been seen in several instances, worsen the situation and lead to avoidable fatalities and tragedies," it says. The SOP says under no circumstances, a tiger should be eliminated by invoking the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, if it is not habituated for causing human death. In case of a healthy tiger occupying a sugarcane field or similar habitat, attempt should be made first to attract it to nearby forest area, while avoiding disturbance, it says. If such operations fail, the animal should be captured through immobilisation for release in low density area of a nearby tiger reserve or protected area after radio collaring, the SOP says. PTI

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