Assam is taking on wildlife crimes with fast-track courts, tighter investigation, even rewards

Assam is taking steps to curb wildlife crime by speeding up prosecution and conviction of poachers.

With the new fast tracks set specifically to judge wildlife crime, six convictions have been made in five separate cases so far this year.

Of the 17 wildlife-related arrests in the state so far this year, 11 cases were prosecuted, according to official figures.

Six phrases have already been obtained in 2017: three for rhino poaching in Kaziranga National Park and the rest of the illegal entry and destruction of habitat, near the Nameri Tiger Reserve.

However, official figures show only one conviction for the wildlife crime in Assam in 2016, five in 2015, two in 2014, four in 2013, none in 2012 and two in 2011. From 2000 to 2010, there was a combined total Of only three convictions.

Accelerated prosecution follows an order of Nov. 28 of the Guwahati Supreme Court to create 10 specialized courts speeded up on wildlife offenses in districts where there are many state parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

A Bengal tiger, seen here in the Ranthambore National Park. (Credit: Rhett A Butler / Mongabay)
The most recent conviction took place on June 2, when a court sentenced Sonitpur Budhiram Soren to six months of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of 12,000 rupees ($ 185).

He was charged with trespassing and damage and destruction of trees at the wildlife sanctuary Sonai Rupai, the satellite area of Nameri National Park recently said.

Two other offenders were sentenced in March by the same court for similar offenses. In each of these cases, the court made the unusual decision to reward forest personnel to catch criminals, giving them bonuses in fines paid by the convicted.

In another recent case, an accelerated Golaghat court can put 25 of the sneaky Sukhdeo Kutumb behind bars for seven years and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 to participate in two 2013 rhino killings in Kaziranga.

At the time of the incident, Kutumb managed to escape after a meeting with the forest staff. He remained in hiding for almost three years until he was captured by the Forest Service in September 2016.

Once arrested, Kutumb confessed to cut the rhino horns and clandestine sale in Dimapur for the mall rhinoceros horns and other wildlife products in the neighboring state of Nagaland.

“Previously such trials lasted more than four to five years, which ultimately weakened the case. Poachers taking advantage of such excessive delays have often escaped to other places and the plot would be longer,” said Mongabay Kaziranga Management of the National Park, Satyendra Singh.

The increase in claims has been offset by an increase in wildlife state arrests in the state. According to Wildlife Director General Bikash Brahma, 207 people were arrested from May 2016 until May 2017.

These cases, he has, he said, are at various stages of investigation or are currently facing trial on fast cuts. This is one of the highest rates in the last five years, Brahma said.

On 16 May, four people – including a government employee from the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh state – were arrested for possession of the bones and leopard in the Sonampur Assam district.

GST woes: Theatre groups and performing artists in Mumbai are in despair

A tax on goods and services by 18% in the arts of the Indian scene sparked protests from artists and producers across the country, but artists in Maharashtra are particularly desperate.

Prior to the introduction of the GST on July 1, Indian classical music, dance and theater in Maharashtra were exempt from state entertainment tax of 25%.

However, all these forms of Indian arts are now under the GST network, with an 18% retention in tickets for shows at a price of more than Rs 250.

While this will greatly increase ticket prices, artists are particularly concerned about their personal tax obligations.

Under the GST, companies and service providers that pull a turnover of more than Rs 20 lakh should register and submit statements, but artists have to fear that they will now register under GST and drop multiple returns a month, even if They do not earn Rs 20 lakh a year.

In addition, like movie owners in Tamil Nadu, artists and art producers in Maharashtra are concerned that the state government imposed an additional entertainment tax beyond the GST.

“Maharashtra was a progressive condition in which the theater is not taxed unless foreign artists participated,” said Kaizaad Kotwal, founder of the bad theater company Box Productions. “Now the cost of art has increased, but the public was inclined to pay beyond a certain threshold?”

In Mumbai, where theater tickets and the arts generally cost between Rs 300 and 500 rupees, the 18% perception of GST tickets above Rs 250 would be a burden on the public, and a possible fall competitions would hurt the Artists and producers.

Arun Kakade, founder of the famed Awishkar Marathi theater group, has already signed a collective call for regional theater groups calling on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reconsider the 18% GST in the arts.

Meanwhile, Kakade says the groups have found a temporary solution to the problem. “We have all reduced the price of Rs 300 and below Rs 250, so we can avoid paying the GST until we receive a response from the Minister of Finance,” Kakde said.

“We hope, but if our request is rejected, we will find a way to shake it more.” According to Kunal Kapoor, director of the iconic Prithvi Theater in Mumbai, theater groups and artists will succeed only to survive in an industry. This is due to passion.

“The GST is very difficult for theater groups to start and survive,” he said. Life is likely to be even more difficult for artists who earn more than Rs 20 lakh annually. They will be charged with 18% GST and must file returns at least three times a month.

“As a theater owner, I will support an additional monthly expense to hire an accountant to file such statements,” said Kunal Kapoor. “Artists do not have the capacity for it, and even those who do not Rs 20 lakh per year may have to register under GST and drop zero returns, to show that they have not earned Rs 20 lakh.

Many artists still do not know if they should register under GST, but the theater group that uses e-commerce sites like BookMyShow to sell tickets online must register.

While theater groups and producers are struggling to understand the nuances of the GST, they also deal with the additional tax anxiety in entertainment.

Readers’ comments: ‘In India, being secular means criticising Hinduism’

I think the need to change the name is a bit exaggerated (“Maybe it’s time to change my child’s name”: the new reality of being a Muslim in India “) Most of these are feelings. Confidence issues manufacturers get.

In reality, these decisions are not courageous, but act offensively, because they know they are not alone. On the other hand, the observation of the decreasing Muslim families seems unnecessary. If this is the case for any other person, the number of children we choose to have. – Umar Farooq

This article has surprised me for one reason: the brilliant way we can handle the situation at home and paint a picture that is far from the truth. Before I am accused of being pro-BJP or Hindutva, I would say that I am neutral and not biased toward either party.

I agree that violence on behalf of the protection of the cow has created fear among many people who eat beef, including Hindus, but the projection of the plight of Muslims in the country in such a light is incorrect.

How can one deduce the fate of the Muslims crossed the country by a single incident? Do you follow social media? If so, do you have an idea of ​​how ordinary people, especially young people, feel about these incidents?

I can understand that if political parties fool the public by taking these incidents and painted a false image of using their polling station, but assumed a neutral place like yours is that you are aligned with a political party or have a program against Of a particular community. Ashwin Kumar

His article, although humanistic, did not address some important things. Hindu generations grew up with Muslims everywhere in India who supported Pakistan, whether it be cricket or the Kargil war.

When some young Muslims are lynched (which of course is an unforgivable crime), the liberal media are the national political discourse. But why the mother when they were brutally hundreds and thousands of Kandmiri Pandits, raped and expelled from their homes?

Where Hindus are a minority in Muslim-majority countries, homicides, rapes and murders are the norm, but English media in India never publish anything about it. – Shiv

The problem is much more important than what you say. The history of India is well documented and is in the origin and solutions to this “new reality” that writes.

This is not new, this was even when the invaders came to India and many millions were beheaded.

Gandhi offered love. That may be the solution. Minorities in the world must be sensitive to the needs of the majority. It is peace, brotherhood and march together under an umbrella that saves the day.

Moral of love is the way to go. Certainly, the early invaders of India do not have a mindset like Mahatma. God bless his soul. – MBV

This article is partial and represents India as the most intolerant nation. Ours is the only country where the majority of the population has to struggle with the government to preserve its identity and continue to live.

If Muslims in India feel they are discriminated against and denied basic rights, they may choose to live in Islamic countries. Do not make articles expressing these partisan views and society hurt. – R Sivasankaran

For Budgam 2017, lessons from 1984

The article by the Prime Minister of Punjab Minister Amarinder Singh (“applauded Mayor Gogoi” IE, May 20) reminded me of the dark days of 1984, when Indira Gandhi launched Operation Blue Star. The damage to Sikh’s holiest sanctuary had a horrible impact on Sikhs. Emotions were high.
Anger went mainly to Indira. A high priority was given to protecting and securing. There were two Sikh armed guards on their security staff. He was informed that they were transferred from the Prime Minister’s residence.
Indira refused, claiming that the Sikhs were part of the country. To maintain the Prime Minister’s home, just because of his religion, we will emphasize our secularism and our constitution. The impact on the Sikh psyche would be disastrous. She prefers her faith in her Sikh guards. Horribly, it has become a national tragedy. They killed her. But in the process, India’s commitment to a plural society was reaffirmed, even in a deep crisis surrounding Amritsar’s attack and death in Delhi. This is perhaps the most important contribution of Indira Gandhi in the country.
Amarinder Singh’s article should be read carefully. Written by a congressional head of government, and as a Sikh, he called for a Distinguished Service Medal by the “bold” officer Major Nitin Gogoi. Its fulfillment is to use an innocent civilian Kashmir as a human shield, tied to the hood of a jeep, which leads to an army column in a hostile zone. The good captain later called an aggressive role vis-à-vis the enemy. But this poor man, fear and fear, an enemy? Certainly not.
Indira calls the citizens of India and processes accordingly – with dignity and respect.