NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Gujarat government to take action and provide compensation in a complaint related to the death of a forester after being attacked by lions on November 2018 in Devaliya Safari Park, Junagadh, which is being run illegally.
The NHRC in its July 5 order has given eight weeks to the state’s environment and forests department to respond to the complaint filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey against D T Vasavada, chief conservator of forest in Junagadh.
In December last year, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) had called for action against Gujarat government for illegally operating Devaliya Safari Park after a forester was killed and two labourers were injured in an attack by lions.
“If the lion safari is being run illegally, then concerned officials should be held responsible for any untoward incident that happens there. NHRC has given eight weeks time to give compensation to victim’s kin and if they fail to meet the time limit, we may approach the Supreme Court,” said Dubey.
As per the 2017 census, there are 650 Asiatic Lion in Gir and nearly one-fourth of them live outside the core habitat. Devaliya Safari Park is situated close to Gir National Park, the only home to Asiatic Lion in the world.
During the investigation, the Central Zoo Authority had found from the records that the Devaliya Safari Park neither obtained the prior permission of the authority under the law for the establishment of the Safari nor did it obtain recognition from the Central Zoo Authority for the operation of the safari.
The government envisages to set up a hospital for lions, centres for treatment and research and host of other services.