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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Monkey bites MP at residence in Lutyens’ Delhi

Lutyens’ Delhi area, which has avenues lined by big fruiting trees like that of mango and jamun, is home to a large population of monkeys.

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2019 23:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP MP Rakesh Sinha has been bitten by a monkey. Here in this file picture, an angry monkey is charging towards passersby.
BJP MP Rakesh Sinha has been bitten by a monkey. Here in this file picture, an angry monkey is charging towards passersby. (HT FILE)
         

The city’s monkey problem has struck a parliamentarian.

Rajya Sabha member BJP’s Rakesh Sinha suffered a monkey bite at his residence on Shahjahan Road on August 28.

The Lutyens’ Delhi area, which has avenues lined by big fruiting trees like that of mango and jamun, is home to a large population of monkeys.

“My residential bungalow has been known to harbour monkeys due to a sprawling green campus. The previous resident, MP Narendra Jadhav, had warned me about this,” said Sinha. “On August 28, I was stepping out of my house when a big monkey attacked me at the gate and bit me on my leg. I got treatment at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where the doctors administered anti-rabies injection and antibodies.”

Previously, at least three of his staff had quit after being chased or clawed by monkeys. “At night, the simians jump on the roof and throw things creating a scary situation. The authorities must find a solution to this problem without being cruel to the animals,” he added.

Besides monkey bites, there have been several cases of the simians chasing and snatching food and work files from even officials at the North Block and South Block here.

A central government employee and resident of the area said it is nearly impossible to sit in the parks in the area. “The monkeys move in huge groups, including small children. I once saw an elderly couple scared for their life after being surrounded by a huge monkey group,” he said requesting not to be named.

A senior New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) veterinary officer said they are putting in all efforts to control the problem, “We have a contractor who employs monkey catchers to trap the simians and take them to Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. We have thus sent a total 892 monkeys to the sanctuary from July 2017 till now. We pay the contractor ₹1,200 per catch.”

“Besides, we have 25 persons who are experts at making noises like langurs to scare away the monkeys. We also advise people not to feed the animals bananas, chana or any food item, but they still do it encouraging the simians to stay in this area,” he said requesting not to be named.

In 2007, monkeys had allegedly pushed the then-deputy mayor of Delhi, SS Bajwa, from the terrace of his building, leading to his death. Authorities recently informed the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a petition in this regard, that they are considering an injectable contraceptive called RISUG to control the monkey population.

“Joint efforts have to be put in with relevant ideas from the forest department. The NDMC alone cannot solve this problem,” said Rashmi Singh, secretary, NDMC.

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 21:16 IST