Selfie deaths and India
Our country may have a selfie-loving Prime Minister, but our Indians in general seem to be bad at selfie safety. It was quite shocking to note that according to a survey, of at least 27 “selfie related” deaths around the world last year, about half occurred in India.
In 2015, Indians taking selfies died while posing in front of an oncoming train, in a boat that tipped over at a picnic, on a cliff that gave way and crumbled into a 60-foot ravine and on the slippery edge of a scenic river cal. Also, in September, a Japanese tourist trying to take a selfie fell down steps at the Taj Mahal, suffering fatal head injuries. Already many popular tourist destitions have warning signs regarding safe selfies. Last year, no-selfie zones were also established in certain areas of the the Kumbh Mela because organizers feared bottlenecks caused by selfie-takers could spark stampedes.
Heyday for poachers in Kaziranga tiol Park
We are appalled to see rhinos being killed in Kaziranga tiol Park one after another. Usually, the Chief Minister is always vocal against anyone pointing at the loophole of works of the State government. The Chief Minister simply shifts the State’s responsibility and accountability to the centre for any adverse happening in the State including the killing of rhinos. Despite a hiatus, rhino poaching has again shown its ugly face in the shape of the killing of two rhinos within 48 hours for their horns. This happened despite strengthening of Forest protection guards and providing them with advanced weapons. The Union Minister for Forest and Environment Prakash Javadekar during one of his visits to Kaziranga tiol Park suggested that a Special Force for protection of rhinos of the park should be formed with local youths. But for reasons best known to the Central government and the State government, the said Special Force could not see the light of day. Atuwa Munda, the present Forest Minister, too like his predecessor, has failed to prove his mettle in checking the ubated killing. The one-horned rhino of the park is a tiol asset. Since demand for rhino’s horn is high in the intertiol market and the cost being very fabulous, the poachers, with their sophisticated weapons, are hell-bent on killing the rhino for its horn. The poachers find safe havens in the houses of illegal land-grabbers whom the State government has failed to evict despite the Guwahati High Court’s orders.