A Thari youth Uttam Singh, without caring for his life, chased illegal hunters with his jeep and forced them to surrender before villagers. After hunting as many as eight rare deer and a fawn, from village Rangilo near Chelhar town in the wee hours of Tuesday, the hunters tried to escape the area. But Uttam Singh and other villagers followed them and managed to intercept them by hitting their vehicle with a jeep. The hunters fired at the villagers pursuing them, but they remained adamant and did not allow them to flee. Several hundred residents of the nearby villages also gathered at the venue, and after catching three hunters, handed them over to Mithi police, while others managed to escape from the scene. Mithi police on the complaint of one Saroop Singh registered an FIR against five suspects under the relevant sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. Those nominated in FIR under different sections of Pakistan Penal Code included Abdul Salam Bari, Ali Ahmed Mangrio, Saleem, Mohammad Hassan and Abdul Ghani.
Villagers carrying the carcasses of the hunted deer staged a demonstration at Kashmir Chowk in Mithi, where members of civil society and rights activists also joined them in protest. The protesters demanded the arrest of the hunters involved in the incidents and the registration of FIRs under the anti-terrorism act to avoid such incidents in future. Ajeet Sindh Sodha and other villagers said that they remained unhurt when they had chased the hunters. The members of civil society, lawyers, rights activists talking to the media highlighted the fact that there was a need to amend the existing laws of the wildlife department in the Sindh Assembly so that hunters and poachers in areas like Thar be given severe punishment. They have argued that existing laws have loopholes which benefited the hunters and poachers in past incidents. The villagers, by placing the carcasses of the killed deer also received expressions of support and sympathy from those who joined the protest.
Sindh Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, taking notice of the incident, suspended four officials of the wildlife department, including deputy conservation officer Riaz Rind, for their failure to protect the rare species even in a sanctuary. Members of the Thar Bar Association have announced a refusal to plead the case of the hunters, saying that they would never help those who were involved in such incidents and against the natural beauty of Tharparkar.
Credible sources revealed to this reporter on Tuesday that as many as eight deer were also killed from the same area a few days ago, and their meat was served in the marriage ceremony of the son of a revenue official in Thar.