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On toes to stop Sendra bloodspill

Jamshedpur, May 11: Hundreds of tribals from different parts of Jharkhand and neighbouring states converged at Dalma foothills this evening to celebrate the annual Bishu Shikar or Sendra tomorrow, while senior forest officials reviewed their preparedness to avoid bloodshed during the hunting ritual.

Principal chief conservator of forest D.K. Srivastava held a meeting at Mango range office this afternoon and directed officials to stay alert to protect animals at the sprawling Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Killing animals is a crime. But since it is a ritual for tribals, forest officials’ role becomes tricky. We will have to protect the life of innocent animals, while respecting the sentiment of tribals,” Srivastava told the officials during the meeting.

He asked officials to persuade tribals and prevent them from entering the sanctuary with bows, arrows or any other weapons.

Among those who attended the meeting were chief conservator (wildlife) A.K. Pandey, divisional forest officer (Ranchi) Kamlesh Pandey and divisional forest officer (Saranda) K.K. Tiwary.

Elaborating on the measures taken, Kamlesh Pandey said the forest department had sealed all the 16 entrances leading to the Dalma hills to prevent armed tribals from entering the reserve.

“This apart, we have deployed patrol parties across the sanctuary to maintain a tight vigil,” Pandey told The Telegraph.

Pandey added over 200 forest personnel, including senior officers, were camping in the area.

Also, police personnel have been kept on stand-by.

Around 500 tribals were seen moving toward Dalma hills through different routes. While some were carrying bows and arrows, others were armed with choppers and spears.