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Security beefed up at Dalma sanctuary before Sendra, tribals adamant

Jamshedpur, May 15: Heightened security arrangement has been made to prevent tribals, who will venture into Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary to hunt animals to observe their annual Sendra (hunting festival) on Monday.

The East Singhbhum district administration has deployed 11 magistrates at various entry points to ensure smooth culmination of the festival. Dhalbhumgarh, Peepla, Patamda, Paridih Kali Mandir, Bahragora-I and II, Badhudih among other locations have been identified for magistrates’ deployment.

“A meeting of the senior forest department officials was held in view of the festival, which is popularly known as ‘SendraParv’ in local dialect, and discussed strategy to prevent poaching of innocent animals,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) (Wildlife), said.

A dozen check points at strategic locations connecting to the forest area in the two districts specifically in the places like Patamda, Pardih, Raghunathpur, Chandil, Bahragora among others, have been erected.

Dalma Buru Sendra Samity (DBSS), is a seven-year-old outfit with little influence on the tribals along the forest cover of Dalma. This outfit hogged the limelight when it publicly defied establishment’s order and led scores of tribals to the forest cover and killed deer, rabbit, squirrel, hoar and birds of different species as mark of celebration six years ago.

The Dalma Wildlife sanctuary and Dalma forest divisional office in coordination with the district administration of the Seraikela and East Singhbhum is making preventing arrangements to thwart tribal hunters bid, if any, to harm the ecological balance of the region.

Of the 82 villages that fall within the Dalma forest jurisdiction a majority have acceded to the forest department official’s word besides, the eco club members who largely played the role on behalf of the forest department in convincing the villagers about the implications of killing animals too are confident of ‘no loss of life’ in the jungles of Dalma on the Sendra day.

Besides deputing our personnel at various strategic entry points, he said the forest department would set up check posts to prevent tribals from entering the reserved forest areas. Nevertheless, DBSS has said that in spite of the large police and forest officials’ presence the tribals will celebrate the festival in a traditional manner but in a limited way.

“No denying the fact that large presence police and forest officials will our plans to some extent as far as celebarting the Sendrafestival in traditional manner is concerned. But still we will manage to hunt in the dense forest of Dalma,” claimed Demka Soy, the convener of DBSS.

He further informed that tribals from the four neighboring states namely West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and host Jharkhand will turn up in large number. Armed with traditional weapons, hundreds of tribals from far flung areas of East Singhbhum and adjoining states of West Bengal and Odisha will start climbing the Dalma forest from Sunday night for hunting animals, a senior functionary of the Samity said.

In addition to this, the forest department has announced involving eco-development committee (EDC) and forest protection committee (FPC) volunteers to ensure tribals observe the festival in a symbolic manner. “We have been carrying out mass awareness campaign in the adjoining forest villages for last two months.

Besides, we have also taken administrative measures to ensure there’s no hunting of animals in the forest,” said Dalma sanctuary divisional forest officer (wildlife) Kamlesh Pandey.

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