The Forest department has filed a case and issued a notice to an Uttar Pradesh man who rescued a Sarus crane and took care of it for a year, officials said.
The crane, which lived with Arif Khan Gurjar in the Mandkha village of Amethi district, accompanied him to his fields and was accepted "like a family member", was taken away by Forest department officials on March 21.
The bird was shifted to the Samaspur sanctuary in Rae Bareli to allow it to live in its natural environment, an official had said.
On Saturday, the department issued a notice to Gurjar and asked him to appear at the office of the Gauriganj divisional forest officer on April 4 to record his statement.
According to the notice issued by Assistant Divisional Forest Officer (Gauriganj) Ranvir Singh, Gurjar has been booked under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act.
A day after the bird was taken away, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav held a press conference during which he condemned the Forest department action and asked indirectly if any official had the courage to take away the peacocks at the prime minister's residence.
Gurjar sat on the dais with the former chief minister but did not speak.
Yadav had visited Gurjar after he gained fame due to his "friendship" with the bird. He had also shared pictures of himself with the bird and Gurjar on social media.
Responding to Yadav's allegations, Divisional Forest Officer DN Singh had said, "Whatever action has been taken is with Arif's (Gurjar) consent." The official said these birds always live in pairs. Since this one was living alone, there was some apprehension about its wellbeing.
On Thursday, Yadav alleged that the crane had gone missing before being rescued by some local residents. Forest officials, however, had denied the claim.
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