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High court issues notice to civic body

delhi Updated: May 27, 2011 23:45 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times
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Are stray monkeys being caught in a most brutal manner in complete violation of a 2007 court order?

The Delhi high court decided to probe this and issued a notice to NDMC on a contempt petition filed by animal lovers who alleged private contractors illegally deployed by the civic agency were torturing the simians.

Saurabh Gupta, wildlife officer of NGO 'people for animals', brought to the attention of Justice GS Sistani a "shocking" footage aired by a TV channel on May 22, 2011, showing monkeys being "beaten up and hurled against a truck" by a contractor's team near Parliament House. After watching the footage, the judge sought a status report from NDMC by July 31.

Acting on a petition by New Friends Colony RWA complaining about simian menace across Delhi, the court had in March 2007 ordered the Delhi government and MCD to take immediate steps to catch the monkeys and release them at Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the city.

But following an intervention by animal rights NGOs, the court said, "Capturing and shifting of monkeys shall be done in a most humane manner and it would be ensured that no injuries are caused to them."

The court had also said monkey catching squad have to be accompanied by a wildlife officer and the animals taken to the veterinary hospital in Moti Bagh after being captured and then released into Asola sanctuary.

Sonya Ghosh, member of the enforcement committee for relocation of monkeys appointed by the court, said monkeys were kept in unhygienic conditions without water.