Wildlife activist decries border fencing

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Aizawl, Nov 13 (UNI) Aizawl-based renowned wildlife activist New World Laldingliana has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advocating against the Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Myanmar border fencing.

''This kind of fencing is a serious discrimination against the wildlife,'' Mr Laldingliana told UNI here today.

''This wrong step taken by the Union Home Ministry is against human as well as animal rights,'' Mr Laldingliana stated in his letter to the Prime Minister.

The self-proclaimed ''freedom fighter for creatures'' informed that the Washington-based Conservation International had declared Mizoram as one of the best hot spots, inhabited by estimated 7,000 endemic spicies of wildlife.

''Besides the areas protected by a group for its habitation, wildlife, in general, do not know what we call international boundaries, nor do they have one. Within the geographical area covered by Mizoram, Bangladesh and Myanmar, they move around freely depending on the climatic changes. Border fencing disturbs and disrupts their normal life and these obstructions, unless checked or removed, will ultimately lead to the extinction of many wildlife species in this area,'' Mr Laldingliana cautioned.

He also warned that border fencing will deprive the animals of their important source of water without which they might perish.

''Since this undertaking is doomed to fail in its main aim of security (as miscreants would not be stopped by fencing), it would be wise to stop the work immediately,'' he asserted.

He said the border fencing could also pose threat to the integrity of Mizo tribes who ''were arbitrarily scattered under different administrative areas by the British during their colonial rule, but whose bloodlines have not been disrupted by such boundaries.'' ''Therefore, this international boundary is, as far as the Mizo people are concerned, against their human rights and it brings misery for them. I also request you to institute a CBI inquiry into the details of the money spent on the border fencing work,'' Mr Laldingliana said in his letter.

''These fencings physically separate the Mizo people and their co-inhabitants, the wildlife and at the same time violate their rights. In my capacity as a crusader for human and animal rights, I beg you to remove the fencing already made and stop further fencing works and find some more humane methods to guarantee the security needs of the people,'' he urged.

He also urged the Prime Minister to take appropriate action against the Tuivai hydel project (between Mizoram and Manipur), for which, he alleged that the report had been finalised without necessary environmental clearance, a serious violation of animal rights.

Mr Laldingliana had made headlines in 2002 when he made an extraordinary will that offered his own body to be fed to wild animals after his death.


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