Manipur to soon ban shotguns to check poaching



The Manipur Cabinet will soon ban all licensed single and double barrelled shotguns to check poaching, state Forest Minister T. Shyamkumar said on Friday.

Individuals concerned for their safety should opt for handguns instead, he added.

At a workshop on the protection of the brow-antlered deer, found only in Manipur, the Minister said: "There is a need to create awareness among the people in the villages under the 40 square km area of the Keibul Lamjao national park, the natural habitat of the endangered deer."

He said that villagers who depend on fishing in the lake, inside the park, should be provided alternative means of earning since they have no other source of income.

Wildlife groups are organising workshops on how man and deer could co-exist peacefully. A two-day workshop of the villagers surrounding the national park concluded on Thursday.

Wildlife expert S.A. Hussain said the people should protect the deer as it is the state animal.

Many villagers, who participated in the workshop, were not happy that they are not allowed to enter the lake and the national park.

Bimal, a fisherman, told IANS: "For generations people have been fishing in the lake. It is a cruel policy of the government to deprive them of their source of income."

Officials say the deers are being poached regularly. But fishermen say they are against poaching and catching of migratory birds.

Wildlife enthusiasts are concerned by the low population of the brow-antlered deer. There are 260 of them, according to the 2016 census.

In 1951, the deer was thought to have become extinct. However, six of them were sighted in 1953. - IANS