In a move that might invite the ire of animal rights activists, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling told villagers of the State to chase away wild animals – foraging into their agricultural fields or attacking their cattle – using weapons adding that ‘no legal action would be taken’ if the wild animal is killed in the process.
Delivering his valedictory remarks on the conclusion of the five-day Budget Session at the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling dwelt at length the complaints coming from farmers regarding their crops being damaged by wild animals in different parts of the State.
“People can chase away wild animals that enter their farms to damage their crops or to eat their goats and chickens. They can chase away wild animals using stones, sticks or weapons. No legal action would be taken if the wild animal dies in the chasing away process. It will be considered as an accidental death,” Pawan Chamling said.
pawan Chamling also directed the Forest Department to issue an executive order in this regard immediately.
The wild animals named by the Chief Minister were monkey, wild boar, bear, porcupine, rats, jackal, wild cat, cheetah and leopard.
However, no one has the right to enter the forests and kill the wild animals unprovoked, the Chief Minister further asserted.
Notably, there are regular instances coming from different rural places of Sikkim about wild animals and birds destroying crops, especially vegetables.
There are also incidents of wild animals killing cattle and poultry of the villagers.