Wular Lake poachers in Bandipora face heat

Bandipora, Dec 12: The Forest Protection Force (FPF) in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is gaining a hold over the poaching activities in and around Wular Lake, which some years ago were rampant, causing extensive damage to the migratory birds, including those that were designated as endangered.

Deputy Director Forest Protection Force, Bandipora, Aijaz Ahmad Pajwari told Greater Kashmir that even though the department started its operations in Wular Lake in 2010, the results were not that conclusive.

“For almost three years, the department has grown its footprint in and around the lake area and has achieved substantial success in cracking down on poachers, which otherwise was very rampant here,” he said.

Reflecting on the department’s anti-poaching operations, Pajwari said that in almost two and a half years, the department had seized 11 punt guns from the poachers besides several other instruments used to trap the winged guests.

It includes the biggest punt gun, which the department seized from poachers in the Wular Lake area on December 7.

Pajwari said that in this connection, a person was in custody and legal proceedings against him had been initiated.

“The length of the punt gun was 9.3 feet,” he said. “With the setting up of the two checkpoints at Sangari Top and Ajas, we can say with authority that the poaching in the Wular Lake has been curbed.”

He said that the teams had an exclusive task to keep an eye on the poachers which he said had borne fruit and seized the activities altogether.

However, Pajwari said that there were a few instances where poachers were making strikes, but it was not having any significant impact and that the department was vigilant.

Locals at Zurimanz said that with the assault on the poachers, the winged guests were flourishing.

“One can now enjoy a breathtaking site of the migratory birds within the lake, especially during winters,” said Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a local fisherman.

He said that the locals were also becoming aware of the negative impact of hunting migratory or endangered bird species and that almost everyone was discouraging it.


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