homeindia NewsKaziranga night safari row: ‘There is no violation’, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Kaziranga night safari row: ‘There is no violation’, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Kaziranga night safari row: ‘There is no violation’, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
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By CNBCTV18.com Sept 26, 2022 1:19:32 PM IST (Published)

Activists Soneswar Narah and Prabin Pegu filed an FIR at the Bokakhat Police Station in Golaghat district against the CM Sarma and others for violation of various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has broken his silence on the controversy over his Kaziranga night safari by saying that there was no violation of laws. CM Sarma dismissed the allegations that he along with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev broke any wildlife laws by entering the Kaziranga National Park for a night safari. He also added that there is no law that prevents people from entering the national park at night.

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"There is no violation. According to wildlife law, the warden can give permission to enter a protected area even at night. No law stops people from entering at night. Yesterday, we had the formal opening of the park for this season and now Sadhguru and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have arrived. Since they have lakhs of followers, this time we expect the tourist season will be very good for Kaziranga," CM Sarma told reporters on September 25.
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A row erupted after CM Sarma, spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev and state tourism minister Jayanta Malla Baruah visited the national park at night in an open-top SUV, with videos of the incident circulating on social media and news channels. Activists Soneswar Narah and Prabin Pegu filed an FIR with the Bokakhat Police Station in Golaghat district against the trio for allegedly breaking the law as per the Wild Life Protection Act, of 1972. The two activists said that the law is equal for everyone and demanded immediate arrest or a public apology from the three named in the FIR.
Many also questioned the CM’s action on social media as Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve is a protected area. An RTI activist Rohit Choudhury questioned whether the CM and others on the night safari violated the law.
"We have started an inquiry into the issue. As the KNP falls under the forest department, we have asked for a status report on the allegations from the divisional forest officer of the park,” a senior officer of the Bokakhat Police Station in Golaghat district told The New Indian Express.
Section 27 of the Wildlife Protection Act restricts entry into a National Park or protected forest area, with certain exemptions, which can be granted by the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officers.
 
 
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