GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday claimed that he and spiritual guru Sadhguru did not break any law by having a night safari ride at the Kaziranga national park late on Saturday night.

“There has been no violation (of Wildlife Protection Act). Wildlife warden is permitted to allow anyone to enter the park even during night hours,” claimed CM Sarma.

This response from the Assam chief minister came as a reaction to the FIR lodged by two wildlife activists at a police station in the state over the late night jeep safari by Himanta Biswa Sarma and Sadhguru.

The FIR was filed at the Bokakhat police station in Golaghat district of Assam by the people residing near the Kaziranga national park led by two wildlife activists.

Meanwhile, the police has informed that an inquiry into the matter has already been initiated.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru, faced flak for enjoying jeep safari inside the Kaziranga national park and tiger reserve on Saturday night.

Sadhguru, who arrived at Kaziranga to inaugurate the three-day Chintan Shivir organized by the Assam government, on Saturday night led a jeep Safari from Mihimukh.

The spiritual guru went on the night Safari in the central range of the national park with Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarama, state tourism minister Jayanta Malla Baruah and top officials of the park and the forest department.

Sources said as per protocol, Safari is not allowed inside the park after sunset as it causes trouble to the wildlife.

According to the website of the Kaziranga National Park, the jeep and elephant safari is conducted in the park from 8 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 4 pm only.

An official of KNP said on condition of anonymity that nobody except park officials and staffers is allowed inside the park after 5 pm.

Expressing serious concern, wildlife activist Mubina Akhtar accused Sadhguru of violating provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

“This is a brazen violation of wildlife conservation protocol. Sadhguru claimed himself as an environmentalist, does not he has a basic idea of the wildlife protection norms?” Akhtar told Northeast Now.

It may be mentioned that, in July this year, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had asked the Madhya Pradesh government to put a stop to night safaris in tiger reserves of the state as it causes hindrance to wildlife.

The NTCA, in a letter to the state forest department, said that night safari causes noise in the wildlife area.

“The animals are awakened by the lights of the vehicles. These put the animals under stress as they are used to the natural light,” the NCTA mentioned.

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