RAJKOT: Members of the BharatiyaKisanSangh (BKS) in Amreli district have strongly demanded shifting of Asiatic lions and leopards that have ventured in the revenue areas in order to avoid man-animal conflict.
The BKS members sat on a dharna at the mamlatdar office in Khambha on Thursday.
The demand to shift the lions stems from the arrest of five farmers after a lion was electrocuted in Moti Monpari village of Junagadh's Visavadar taluka recently. A magisterial court in Visavadar has refused bail to Jaman Dobaria, Vallabh Dobaria, Balu Dobaria, Ratial Dobaria and Jenti Dobaria.
They were arrested after the forest officials found the lion's body stuck in a pipeline of a causeway near the village on August 6. Forest officials said that the wild cat was electrocuted in the farm of Vallabh Dobaria who had installed a live electric fence around his farm to keep wild animals from damaging crop.
"The farmers are being victimized by forest department and we are helpless because wild animals enter our fields which don't fall under forest areas. When they die accidentally, farmers are being punished. Therefore, we have demanded that wild animals like leopard and lions be moved from our farms to forest areas," said Labhubhai Gajera, BKS president in Khambha.
The forest department along with Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (PGVCL) has also launched a drive to disconnect power supply to farmers who use the electric fencing to ward off wild animals because lions often become victims.
There are nearly 100 lions in Amreli district alone.
'We will continue our agitation till our demands are accepted by the government," said Gajera.
BKS leaders also submitted a memorandum to the mamlatdar in Khambha in this regard.