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Protest turns sour, 3 Greenpeace activists jailed under Wildlife Act

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Three Greenpeace activists arrested for possessing Olive Ridley turtles carcasses, have been sent to jail till April 29.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain sent Imran, Ashish Fernandes and V C Singh to judicial custody after he had given them bail but the activists could not fulfill the requisite bail conditions.

The court said though the intention of the activists was good but their means to protest was not. One could not use wildlife parts in any way, which were State's property.

The city police had arrested the three Greenpeace activists while they were protesting outside the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's residence in the capital yesterday.

Three of 12 activists, participating in the demonstration yesterday, were booked under the Wildlife Protection Act and held overnight at the Tughlaq Road Police Station.

The activists had been accused of violating the Wildlife Protection Act by transporting carcasses of Olive Ridley turtles from Orissa to Delhi, even as those responsible for the deaths of the turtles were being allowed to go scot free, Greenpeace said in a statement.

Greenpeace condemned the decision to book the environmental activists under an Act that meant to protect the very interests that had motivated the activists to confront the Chief Minister.

''It is shocking that officials of the law choose to prosecute those who take action to uphold the law, instead of those who flagrantly violate it, or those abusing their positions of responsibility,'' said Fernandes.

''Given that the Chief Minister has abdicated his responsibility to protect the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles, we consider him to be in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act,'' he added.

Over 100,000 endangered Olive Ridley turtles had died in the last one decade in Orissa, and as Greenpeace has pointed out, this was particularly ironical at a time when the United Nations marked 2006 as the International Year of the Turtle.


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