Controversies refuse to leave Congress leader Navjot Sindh Sidhu alone. On his return from Pakistan, Sidhu brought with himself a stuffed partridge which he presented as a gift to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder. This has prompted two animal rights activists to complain to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau seeking action against cricket-turned-politician for alleged violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Animal Welfare Board of India has now directed DG of Forests and Special Secretary Delhi, Additional DG of Forests (Wildlife) Delhi and Chief Wildlife Warden, Chandigarh to send a report within 3 days for action under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The bird was gifted to Sidhu by a Pakistani journalist when he was in Pakistan for the groundbreaking ceremony of Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib corridor. On 12th December, Sidhu ‘gifted’ the partridge to Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, which the latter reportedly refused to accept. Hunting of partridge is banned in India but the bird was already stuffed when it was brought from Pakistan, hence there is a lack of clarity whether the bird can be kept in India.
The Punjab CM office sent the stuffed bird to the wildlife department asking if it could keep it. As per reports, the stuffed partridge has been sent for further investigation to forest wildlife department but the department is not able to come to a decision.
Sandeep Jain, a volunteer at the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau while registering a complaint against Sidhu sought a probe on how the bird was brought from Pakistan and kept in Punjab for so long. “It’s illegal to keep an animal or a bird or their body parts without permission,” he said.