Told not to drink alcohol in Corbett Tiger Reserve, locals attack forest guard
Twenty-five-year-old Santosh Bisht suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital. A complaint has been lodged against three persons at Ramnagar police stationUpdated: Nov 28, 2017 20:26 IST
A group of locals allegedly thrashed a forest guard after he asked them not to drink alcohol on the border of the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) in Ramnagar, officials said Tuesday.
The incident took place Monday night, hours after chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and forest minister Harak Singh Rawat inaugurated a new entry gate to the from Kotdwar in the state’s Pauri Garhwal region.
Twenty-five-year-old Santosh Bisht suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital. A complaint has been lodged against three persons at Ramnagar police station.
“We have lodged a complaint against three people. They have been booked for under Indian Forest Act and relevant section of CrPC for hindering government official from performing duty and charging at the forest guard,” Surendra Mehra, director Corbett told Hindustan Times.
Home to the second largest population of tigers in country, CTR is major revenue spinner for Uttarakhand government. It is to cash in on this asset that the government opened the new entry gate that is expected to reduce the travel distance between New Delhi and CTR by about 50 kilometres. The government also aims to push tourism in Kotdwar, which is also the constituency of the forest minister.
Amidst all this, the safety and security of staff seems to have been compromised. Apart from the latest incident, several other violations have been reported where tourists were seen marching on foot, or blocking the movement of tigers.
Last year in December, two video clips showing tourists blocking the path of a tiger surfaced, putting a question mark on the precautionary measures adopted by the officials. The videos were shot at Sambhar road in Dhikala zone two days after the reserve opened for public.
“The basic tourism in protected areas should be regulated. And for this a force is needed to safeguard the borders,” an activist said requesting anonymity.
Taking cue from the incident, the management has strengthened border patrolling. “Any violation will not be tolerated,” Mehra added.
The guards, however, are cautious now. “This is the most sensitive period when Corbett remains abuzz with tourists. But, we are actively safeguarding posts and other sensitive areas,” Bisht, who suffered mild injuries during the incident, said.
First Published: Nov 28, 2017 20:26 IST