Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja was let off by Gujarat forest department after he paid a fine of Rs 20,000 for taking pictures with lions at Gir Wildlife Sanctuary at Sasan in Junagadh.
Lion safari is a main attraction at Sasan, during which tourists can observe the beasts from open-hooded jeeps. However, they are now allowed to get off the vehicle.
“We have collected Rs 20,000 fine from Jadeja for flouting rules inside the sanctuary during his visit in June. Since he was not available, we have taken statement from his father-in-law, who also paid the fine on Jadeja’s behalf,” A P Singh, chief conservator of forests (CCF) of Junagadh, said.
On June 17, Singh ordered an inquiry after some of the photos shared by Jadeja on Instagram showed him and his wife Reeva posing for a photo with lions in the background.
In another photo, the cricketer was seen pointing at lions. Other photographs showed forest staff standing with the couple.
“Penalty and inquiry report are two different things. The inquiry report will be sent to higher authorities after we finalise it. Action against the forest staff would be taken based on the findings of the report,” Singh added.