Security beef-up by foresters paid rich dividends on Monday with Bishu Shikar, the annual tribal hunting festival, remaining more or less bloodless at the 192km Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary on Jamshedpur outskirts.
The foresters, who had set up 12 checkpoints to monitor a non-violent ritual hunt, failed to stop tribals armed with traditional weapons like bows, arrows and spears from making their way up Dalma hills. The good news, however, was that none of them returned with any animal carcass.
There were unconfirmed reports that some hunters managed to kill a wild boar and other mammals inside the sanctuary during the daylong hunt. But Rakesh Hembrom, president of Dolma Buru Sendra Samiti, and Kamlesh Pandey, DFO of Ranchi wildlife division, denied this.
Hembrom, president of the samiti, which is the frontal organisation of tribals organising the hunting festival in Dalma each year, said that the association had kept its promise and no wild animal had been hurt during the hunt.
“More than 5,000 tribals made their way to Dalma with their weapons. But, none of them killed animals inside the sanctuary. Bishu Shikar was celebrated in a symbolic manner only,” Hembrom said.
“Bishu Shikar this year was bloodless,” DFO Pandey said.
Pandey, however, put the number of tribals at Dalma at not more than 500.
“We were happy to note that very few tribals turned up for the hunt this year. It may be because of the strict vigil that we maintained in the run-up to the shikar. But we also believe that villagers are becoming conscious about the wildlife and the need to protect it,” Pandey said.
The DFO added that as many as 25 patrol parties covered the entire stretch of Dalma on vehicles during the hunt. Some, he said, even guarded the sanctuary on foot, tailing the tribals as they went up the hills.
“We nabbed a man at Dalma sanctuary’s Halubani carrying a gun with which he was planning to kill animals. The man was hiding in some bushes, but could not escape the eyes of our men,” Pandey said.
He added that foresters had been deputed near all the water bodies inside the sanctuary and other strategic locations frequented by hunters.
This year, tribals had made their way to Dalma from Purulia and Midnapore districts in Bengal, Mayurbhanj in Odisha and Chakulia, and closer home in Jharkhand, from Dhalbhumgarh, Hata, Potka, Musabani, Ghurabandha, Patamda and Bodam.Courtesy:TheTelegraph.