NEW DELHI: Gaurav Saini, former sub-divisional magistrate of Kotwali received the Hero to Animals Award by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
This recognition was given to Saini for his commendable for conducting raids and seizures in coordination with the Delhi Police to address the illegal sale of manjha. His work led to the closure of shops selling glass-coated manjha in Delhi.
Saini is presently posted as deputy secretary in the department of tourism, Delhi Government.
According to PETA, “Following complaints of illegal manjha being sold in Delhi markets, the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Kotwali, Gaurav Saini, organised a police team and conducted raids in the Lal Kuan market in Delhi in the presence of representatives from PETA India. During the raids, several kilos of illegal manjha were recovered, the offenders were fined Rs 1 lakh each under the provisions of
the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; and seven shops were sealed immediately as per the directions of the SDM.”
Every year, several reports of birds being killed and losing their wings after they are cut by sharp manjha which is used in kite flying. Saini is the first officer to book offenders under the stringent provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
Previous recipients of the award include Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra for speaking out against the cruelty of circuses and other similar acts which lead to the deaths of animals.
Delhi’s Food and Supplies Minister Imran Hussain was also given the same award for banning all forms of manjha. This year in August a 28-year-old civil engineer was killed and at least half a dozen others were injured by manjha in separate incidents.