Criticising the move to legalise hunting of Nilgai (Asian Antelope) by Madhya Pradesh government in a bid to protect crops, animal rights activist and BJP MP Maneka Gandhi on Monday alleged that resort owners and poachers are behind such proposals.
Gandhi, who was in Bhopal, slammed Forest Minister Sartaj Singh for initiating the move and recommended that he quit his post that involves protecting tigers and forests. Calling it ‘tourism hunting’, the activist alleged that the syndicate of resort owners, at times owned by politicians and poachers instigate a few farmers to stage protests. According to her, no farmer wants to kill Nilgai but tourists from Delhi and abroad, who want to hunt for sport, fuel such demands. The minister said, “No resort owner is my friend. I don’t know what has been said about me. It’s up to the government to take a call on regulated hunting,’’ Singh said. He said rules in MP allow such hunting since 2000.