Tied with a rope at the corner of the boundary wall of River Heights, a condominium in Raj Nagar Extension, a langur was rescued by the forest department of Ghaziabad on Wednesday morning.
The langur is suspected to be kept in captivity for more than five days. The rescuers suspect that the langur was used to keep monkeys away from the neighbourhood, which is illegal as langur is a protected species under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Ruchin Mehra, environment and animal rights activist who also volunteered in the operation, had received the information about the langur being in captivity. He had alerted the department a few days back. "I clicked photographs and recorded a video as evidence and presented it to the forest department to take action," Mehra said.
However, sighting delay in the action, Mehra then registered a complaint on Integrated Grievance Redressal System (IGRS) portal. "Soon thereafter, the forest department took action and conducted the rescue operation," he claimed.
Speaking to City Spidey, district forest officer, Diksha Bhandari, confirmed that a langur was rescued from the society.
The forest department has registered a case against president and AOA of the society. "For now, a case has been registered. The nature of punishment will be determined once the investigation is over," informed Navratan Singh, forest ranger, Ghaziabad, adding that the AOA is most likely to be fined heavily.
Meanwhile, president of AOA of River Heights, Subodh Tyagi refused to accept the presence of langur in the society. "This is a fabricated story. We have around 1,500 residents and not even one of them saw the langur being held in captivity inside the society. If there is any truth in their claims then why was I informed after their alleged operation. Why didn’t they tell me beforehand?" Tyagi asked.
Tyagi said that the AOA will drag the forest department to the court. “The case against us is utterly preposterous. We will challenge it in the court,” he said.
Reacting to Tyagi's statement, Mehra said, “I’ve evidence of langur being kept in the society tethered to a corner and also rescued after the operation. If he (Tyagi) wants, he can check.”
According to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, langur is a protected species under Schedule II and under the IPC Sections 2, 8, 9, 11, 40, 41, 43, 48, 51, 61, and 62. According to these sections, langurs cannot be owned, traded, bought, sold or hired. Any violation is liable to a three-year jail term or fine or both.