Booked under the Wildlife Protection Act and criminal conspiracy, Dr. Ajit Gupta, owner of the farmhouse where a leopard was trapped in an iron cage placed by the wildlife department on Sunday, has finally come out with his side of the story.
Accused of having stolen the cage from the wildlife department, Gupta told HT that the wildlife officials had installed the cage at his farmhouse. This was done after he had approached them and the local police for protection of five staffers and two children living in the farmhouse where the leopard had entered and killed one German Shepherd dog a day before.
Dr. Gupta, who owns a chain of hospitals in New Delhi, had purchased this farmhouse in 2007. In April 2008, a leopard had killed his Boxer dog and he had urged the police as well as the wildlife department for protection. He said that a cage was placed even then and the leopard did come again.
“It was after that I increased the height of the wall from six to 12 feet and fenced it as well. Surprisingly, on Friday evening, a leopard scaled this wall too using a mound near the farmhouse wall and killed one of three German Shepherds. I feared for the lives of five adult staffers and two of their children who lived in my farmhouse and decided to approach the police and wildlife authorities again,” Dr. Gupta said.
After being advised by the local police to approach the wildlife officials, the farmhouse manager BM Sharma, a former ACP with Delhi Police, approached the wildlife office last Saturday where an assistant Raju made him talk to the wildlife sub inspector Kanwar Pal.
Pal offered to install the iron cage at the farmhouse, said Satya Pal Gupta, the counsel for Dr. Gupta. Kanwar Pal was in Ballabhgarh at that time. He said that it was Sharma who sent a Santro car to ferry Pal to the farmhouse from Ballabhgarh when he got the cage installed in his presence, the lawyer said.
However, Chief Wildlife Warden Dr. Parvez Ahmad said that the sub inspector of his department as well as the farmhouse owner were at fault.
“Why did the farmhouse owner ask for the cage. He should be knowing the rules that it was not allowed. The fault of the sub inspector is that he did not seek the permission of his seniors,” Ahmad said.