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Five detained for entering Gir forest without permission, recording Asiatic lion on hunt

In the videos purportedly shot by one of the accused, a male Asiatic lion is seen emerging from a bush and charging at a cow in an attempt to kill it.

A DAY AFTER a video showing a group of men filming an Asiatic lion preying on a cow, the forest department on Friday detained five men and launched a hunt for the prime accused who is on the run.

In the videos, a male Asiatic lion is seen emerging from a bush and charging at a cow in an attempt to kill it. A group of men is also seen shooting videos of the encounter on their mobile phones.

On Friday, Dushyant Vasavada, chief conservator of forests (CCF) of Junagadh wildlife circle said that forest department had detained five men on charges of harassing of the lion and entering the reserved forest area without permission. They have been identified as Mukesh Singhad, Dilip Singhad, Dilip Lalakiya, Bhana Singhad and Satish Nagraliya. Forest officers said that while Nagraliya was a resident of Jamvala village of Gir Gadhda taluka of Gir Somnath district, the remaining four are residents of Ghantvad village in Kodinar taluka of Gir Somnath district.

“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. Mayuddin Kadri, the prime accused in the case is absconding.

The CCF said that if the Covid-19 tests of the five who have been detained returns negative, they would be arrested and produced in a court.

Vasavada said that the video was shot in a reserved forest which is part of Gir forest.

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