Jamshedpur, May 8 : Sendra (BishuShikar), the annual hunting festival of tribals, was observed atDalma wildlife sanctuary today under strict vigil.
Senior forest department officials heaved a sigh of relief even though unconfirmed reports said a spotted deer was killed at Chaliyama village inside the sprawling 192 sq km sanctuary. A group of 32 tribals from Seraikelahad entered the sanctuary last night.
Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) L.R Singh, who along with chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Anand Mohan Sharma and other officials, kept an eye on the security arrangements.
�We are happy to note that no animal has been killed. We were successful in making Sendra symbolic and peaceful,� PCCF Singh. When questioned about the reported killing of a deer, Singh added they have no reports as such. He said they can only spread awareness and cannot force the tribals from not observing the festival.
A group of some tribals had also lit fire at a few section of the sanctuary. The fire was aimed at driving away elephants so that they can kill animals.
Sharma thanked the members of Dalma eco development committee for helping them in stopping animal casualty. �We were in touch with Dolma Buru SendraSamity chief priest Rakesh Hembrom and Dolma Buru SendraDishuaSamity general secretary Ishwar Chandra Soren with a request to help the forest department in its efforts to prevent killing of animals.
Checkpoints along the NH 33, including Pardih and Fadlugora, also went a long way in preventing tribals from going to the sanctuary with firearms.
The state forest department had earmarked 11 check points and 15 patrol routes as part of security measures for Sendra.
A total of 51 divisional forest officers (DFO), assistant conservator of forests (ACF) and range officers from different forest divisions manned the sanctuary from yesterday itself. Police constables from East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan were also deployed for preventing tribals from entering the sanctuary. Moreover, divisional railway managers of Chakradharpur and Adra divisions had been asked to deploy magistrates to prevent tribals from boarding trains with weapons.
It may be mentioned that the forest department, a two weeks before the festival, had launched an awareness campaign among tribals, following which they had not only assured to protect the animals, but promised to convince others not to kill animals during the annual ritual.
Nevertheless, Dalma Buru SendraSamity(DBSS) has said that inspite of the large police and forest officials presence the tribals have celebrated the festival in a traditional manner but in a limited way.