SC orders CBI enquiry into the poaching of Gir lions

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) The Supreme Court today issued notices to centre and State of Gujarat on a petition seeking CBI enquiry into the illegal poaching of lions in Gir sanctuary in Gujarat.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran issued notices on a petition filed by Elephant G Rajendran, an advocate, who alleged that the lions were being killed as their bones are in big demand in China and these bones and jaws of the lions fetch a hefty price for poachers who indulge in this illegal killing of animals with active connivance of forest officials.

Out of 1,421 sq km forest area, Gir lion sanctuary is bred in 300 sq km area and is the only sanctuary for the Asiatic lions.

According to the petitioner, there are 300 wells without parapet walls and many lions have fallen in the wells in search of water. In 2000, there were 359 lions in the sanctuary and now only 350 are left. Recently, three lions were found dead under mysterious circumstances in the sanctuary.

The petitioner has urged the court to order an investigation either by CBI or state CBCID to punish the culprits and also to save the king of the forest from being extinct.

UNI

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