A day after a shocking video of a live cow being offered as a bait to a lion from Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat went viral on social media, the forest officials detained five men and launched a manhunt for the prime accused Mayuddin Kadri who is on the run.
After videos of a group filming an Asiatic lion charging at a cow in a reserved forest in Gir, Gujarat, went viral, forest officials detained five men for alleged harassment and entering a reserved forest area without permission.https://t.co/DOn1IgsXmE pic.twitter.com/LAwmso4Maz— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) October 17, 2020
The Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh Wildlife Circle, Dushyant Vasavada, informed that the five men were detained in connection with the alleged harassment of the lion and entering the reserved forest area without due permission, while the officers were in the lookout for the prime accused in the case. “The videos were shot in Ghantvad village near Jamvala. The manner in which the lion arrives at the spot, and the fact that the accused knew the direction from which the lion arrives, suggests something criminal. We are investigating if the accused had baited the lion,” Vasavada told the Indian Express.
The inquiry into the incident was initiated after the purported video went viral, enraging netizens, who expressed outrage over the incident and demanded the arrest of the people involved in the incident.
Another senior official privy to the case confirmed that the video was being shot for an illegal show and also said that such shows are probably organized regularly in return for a hefty sum of money. “The way the group was ready with their cameras makes it seem this was a routine affair for the group. They might not be feeding the lion for a couple of days and then organizing the illegal show by charging high rates,” he said.
At least two videos of the aforementioned incident had gone viral on social media on Thursday. The video showed the cow tied with a rope as a bait to the lion in the sanctuary. A few moments later, a lion emerges from a bush and pounces on the cow making a kill. In the video, many men can also be seen making videos of the encounter on their mobile phones.
According to a report by Times of India, the video footage is from somewhere between Kodinar and Una in Gujarat.
This is, however, not an isolated incident reported from the Gir reserves in Gujarat.
6 people including 5 Muslims involved on #gau #hatya at gir forest area in junagadh newspaper has written half truth.This is the full truth in the video. These people are no less then psyco,Tie a cow to invite lions n then make video n enjoy the scene. @VHPsampark @BajrangdalOrg pic.twitter.com/QnixnW62MR— GujjuMind (@Stronginside81) April 17, 2018
Prior to this, many videos have surfaced online where locals are seen harassing the Asiatic lions of the Gir National Park, the only Asiatic lion reserve in India.