Bishnois oppose move to allow neelgai killing | india | Hindustan Times
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Bishnois oppose move to allow neelgai killing

The Bishnois have protested against a move to allow the killing of neelgai to stop the animals from damaging crops.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2004 12:04 IST

The Bishnoi community has protested against the Punjab Government's move to allow the killing of neelgai to stop the animals from damaging standing crops.

The problem of crop destruction by neelgais is severe in Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. While Haryana has banned the hunting of the animal, Rajasthan and recently Punjab have relaxed rules for its hunting. In both cases, the decision followed demands by farmers who have suffered severe losses.

A study instituted by the Haryana Agricultural University (HAU) and carried out two years ago by Dr RS Dalal had reported that the problem was particularly severe in southern Haryana in the districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Hisar, Sirsa, Bhiwani and Mahendergarh.

In Bathinda, Punjab, farmers say they have had to incur severe losses due to neelgai invasion. The Deer Park in Bhatinda too has been badly affected. The park guards say neelgais break into the cages of animals and eat the food meant for the residents.

In Haryana, farmers have often resorted to dangerous techniques to kill the invading animals. They often lay live electric wires around their fields. While the technique has proved partially successful, it has also cost human lives. In one instance, two brothers were electrocuted by wires in fields in Fatehabad district.

(Arpan Sharma works for the Samrakshan Trust. He can be contacted atarpan@samrakshan.org)