UP man who rescued, cared for Sarus crane gets forest department notice
Responding to Yadavs allegations, Divisional Forest Officer DN Singh had said, Whatever action has been taken is with Arifs Gurjar consent. The official said these birds always live in pairs.
The forest department has filed a case and issued a notice to an Uttar Pradesh man who rescued a Sarus crane and took care of it for a year, officials said.
The crane, which lived with Arif Khan Gurjar in the Mandkha village of Amethi district, accompanied him to his fields and was accepted ''like a family member'', was taken away by forest department officials on March 21.
The bird was shifted to the Samaspur sanctuary in Rae Bareli to allow it to live in its natural environment, an official had said.
On Saturday, the department issued a notice to Gurjar and asked him to appear at the office of the Gauriganj divisional forest officer on April 4 to record his statement.
According to the notice issued by Assistant Divisional Forest Officer (Gauriganj) Ranvir Singh, Gurjar has been booked under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Arif issued a video statement, acknowledging the case and the notice, but said he was ''absolutely innocent''. ''I had got the Sarus crane in an injured state. I took it to my house, and gave treatment to it . And, it was never my intention that the Sarus crane should remain with us.'' ''I thought that after its injury is healed, the crane will fly away from here. It used to go, and then come back again. I had not forcibly kept the Sarus (with myself). I am innocent in this case,'' Arif said.
A day after the bird was taken away, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav held a press conference during which he condemned the forest department action and asked indirectly if any official had the courage to take away the peacocks from the prime minister's residence.
Gurjar sat on the dais with the former chief minister but did not speak. Yadav had visited Gurjar after he gained fame due to his ''friendship'' with the bird. He had also shared pictures of himself with the bird and Gurjar on social media. Responding to Yadav's allegations, Divisional Forest Officer DN Singh had said, ''Whatever action has been taken is with Arif's (Gurjar) consent.'' The official said these birds always live in pairs. Since this one was living alone, there was some apprehension about its wellbeing. On Thursday, Yadav alleged that the crane had gone missing before being rescued by some local residents. Forest officials, however, had denied the claim.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)