RAJKOT: Have forest officials captured an "innocent" lion in Rajula? Forest department believes that the lion which they caged on July 21 from Lunsapur village was the one that killed 55-yearold Bhikha Parmar of Nagesri village on July 18.
However, wildlife lovers who have been watching lions in this area very closely, are confident that the caputured lion is not the one which killed Parmar. In fact, they told TOI that the killer lion is still roaming in the area and actually chased a group of five shepherds in Nagesri on Monday evening.
Vijay Kotila, sarpanch of Lunsapur, says confidently that the lion captured from outskirts of this village was not the one which killed Parmar. "We have been monitoring lions' movement very closely since many years and the lion captured was in fact seen with a lioness near our village. Forest department captured it believing that it was the one which killed Parmar," Kotila claimed.
Ajay Varu, sarpanch of Nagesri village, claimed that the forest department has captured an innocent lion, which will now face life imprisonment in Sasan animal care centre. "The lion was captured to placate public anger over the killing of a human," he claimed.
As per wildlife rules, any lion or wild cat which kills humans are captured and caged in Junagadh's Sakkarbaug Zoo or in the rescue centre in Sasan.
However, when contacted, A B Bloch, range forest officer of Rajula range, said that there is no possibility of capturing an innocent lion. "However, if we receive such complaints from villages, we will look into this matter,'' Bloch said.
There are at least 45 lions in 12 square km area near Rajula and Jafrabad talukas of Amreli district. As per the 2010 lion census, there were 100 lions in Amreli district.