By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: Authorities in Nagar Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan rounded up two men for hunting an ibex illegally. The accused were later sent to jail for a week; the next hearing is scheduled for Monday.
The illegal hunt, which isn’t the first in this season, has come in the midst of trophy hunting which is a government sponsored programme to safeguard precious wildlife animals. “Two locals identified as Janan and Hasnain killed the ibex in Bar, Nagar,” an official of the wildlife department requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune on Thursday. He added, “They confessed to killing the animal .”
The official said authorities recovered the head and horns of the animal from the possession of the accused.
The illegal hunt came to the notice of the authorities after some wildlife guards followed the two men who were climbing a peak in Bar on Tuesday midnight. “With guns in their hands, they appeared suspicious so authorities chased and nabbed them.”
After their arrest, the accused were produced before a forest magistrate who sent them to jail for a week.
While commenting on the incident, Hunza Range Forest Officer Shabbir Baig confirmed the illegal hunt and said the fate of the hunters would be decided in the next hearing which is due on Monday. “The magistrate will decide the case on the basis of evidence,” Baig told The Express Tribune.
He said besides head and horns, authorities also seized used bullet shells from the hunting site.
Illegal hunting continues in parts of the G-B despite government’s efforts to overcome it. Trophy hunting is a government sponsored programme which aimed to protect precious wildlife animals from being hunted illegally. It was first introduced in the early 1990s in Bar Valley.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2016.