Shimla: Overcoming resistance from animal right activists, the Himachal Pradesh government has allowed killing of antelope blue bull (neel gai) to protect crops.
Forest minister JP Nadda in response to a question from Mukesh Agnihotri (congress) let the Vidhan Sabha know during question hour that the government has issued a notification to the effect on March 2, 2010 of granting permits to shoot the Neel Gai in lower parts of the state which include Nurpur, Una, Bilaspur, Nalagarh and Poanta Sahib.
The state government has already permitted killing of pig, monkey, sambhar, rabit, black bear and parrot through a 1984 order, the minister said.
Divisional forest officer (regional and wildlife) and Range officers (regional and wildlife) have been authorised to issue the permit for killing neel gai, Nadda said.
The permission has been granted in accordance with relevant sections of Wildlife (protection) Act, 1998 which allows killing of animals dangerous for agriculture or mankind, the minister added.
The animal killed would be disposed by the forest guard with the help of panchayat, he said.
About lifting of past cases related to killing of neel gai, Nadda said it would be decided on the basis of merit of the case.
It may be mentioned that Himachal Kisan Sabha had recently protested in Una district, demanding permission for killing of these marauding animals as farmers were facing cropping problems in the region.
The Sabha had even threatened to voluntarily kill the animals should the government not intervene in the matter.