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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Goats ‘arrested’ for grazing on saplings in Telangana, owner fined Rs 1,000

Huzurabad police inspector Vasamshetty Madhavi told that two activists of local NGO “Save the Trees” had brought two goats and lodged a complaint.

it-s-viral Updated: Sep 12, 2019 16:54 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
The animals had eaten away nearly 150 saplings.
The animals had eaten away nearly 150 saplings. (Save the Trees)
         

In what many may call a bizarre incident, the police in Huzurabad town in Telangana’s Karimnagar district “arrested” two goats. Turns out, the animals were grazing saplings planted by activists of a local non-governmental organization (NGO). The “perpetrators” were released from police custody only after the owner paid a penalty of Rs 1,000.

Huzurabad police inspector Vasamshetty Madhavi told Hindustan Times that on Tuesday, two activists of local NGO “Save the Trees” had brought two goats and lodged a complaint that the animals had eaten away nearly 150 saplings planted on the premises of Huzurabad government hospital.

“We got the goats tied to a pillar and informed the owner, Dornakonda Rajaiah, a resident of Kummariwada. He came to the police station on Wednesday morning and we asked him to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 to the local municipality authorities for letting the goats graze on the saplings planted as part of afforestation programme. We let the goats off only after he paid the penalty,” Madhavi said.

She, however, said it was not exactly arrest of the goats. The police also did not register any case in this regard, as there is no section in the Indian Penal Code to “punish” or “arrest” animals. The owner was warned against grazing his goats on the plantations in public places again.

When contacted, Kyasa Vikranth, a representative of the NGO, said he and his colleague Maturi Anil, a government teacher, had been involved in tree plantation for the last one year.

“We planted over 980 trees in the town so far and have been taking care of them by watering them and trimming them as and when required. Unfortunately, we don’t have funds to buy tree guards, which is the reason why we couldn’t prevent them from being eaten by goats and other cattle,” Vikrant said.

On Tuesday, Vikrant and Anil caught 10 goats “redhanded” while grazing on the wild almond tree saplings but handed over only two of them to the police. “We are not aware of the penalty the owner of the goats had paid but we are happy that we were able to educate such persons,” Vikrant said.

The NGO activists are planning to take up plantation of 150 trees on October 2, to mark the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. “We are doing it just out of passion for greenery. We don’t get any support from the government,” the NGO activist said.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 16:46 IST