We previously reported on wildlife rangers in Maharashtra State in India being offered protection from legal action if they take preventative shooting of poachers in order to protect tigers. Now a leading politician of the State has upped the stakes again and is offering a bonus to any ranger who shoots poachers.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) – the fourth largest part in the State assembly – chief Raj Thackeray has offered to pay rangers a reward of Rs.500,000 (just under £6,000) if they shoot a poacher found killing tigers in the forests of Vidarbha region in eastern Maharashtra. [pullquote]On behalf of MNS, I will present an award of Rs.500,000 to any official who shoots a genuine poacher found killing tigers in this region. [/pullquote]
The reward was announced last Friday as the party chief ended a two-day fact-finding mission of the current state of poaching in the forests of Vidarbha.
Thackeray also took the opportunity to announce that he would also provide a reward of Rs200,000 (about £2,300) to any villager that provided useful information about tiger poaching in the area.
The offer was stated as “On behalf of MNS, I will present an award of Rs.500,000 to any official who shoots a genuine poacher found killing tigers in this region. Plus, I will give another Rs.200,000 to any villager, tribal or forest dweller who provides accurate information on poachers.“
Raj Thackery set up the breakaway Maharashtra Navnirman Sena political party in March 2006 after he left his uncles political party the Shiv Sena.
The party currently has 13 seats in the 288 seat assembly making it the 4th largest party. At the last elections in 2008 it came second in 24 other seats.
The party is considered to be both nationalistic and secular in outlook and policies.
Wikipedia: Raj Thackery.