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Gogoi pits Assam rhinos against Gujarat lions

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Taking a dig at the Centre, CM tells it 'to learn from' Kaziranga-type rhino conservation efforts to save Asiatic lions in Gir forest

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, May 10: Unfazed by ubated rhino poaching, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today patted his government on the back for its 'successful' conservation efforts leading to rise in rhino population in Assam, even as he took pot shots at the Centre for failing to protect the Asiatic lion in Gujarat.

With Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar crediting the Central government with the rise in rhino population, Gogoi trained his guns at the Centre, sarcastically demanding that if the Central government is so eager in claiming credit, it (the Centre) should also own the discredit for its failure in checking the dwindling numbers of Asiatic lions in Gujarat's Gir forest.

In a statement here on Tuesday Gogoi said, "Rise in deaths of Asiatic lions has posed a threat to the very existence of wild cats which are found only in Gujarat." Gogoi stated that since Gujarat is considered a favourite 'den' of the saffron party, failure of the BJP governments both at the state and at Centre in saving the lives of Asiatic lions has cast doubts on the sincerity of the government about its wildlife conservation efforts.

It may be mentioned that in Gujarat, 76 lion deaths were reported in 2013, 78 in 2014, and rising steeply to 91 in 2015. Overall, in the last five years, deaths of over 300 lions have been reported in Gujarat, making a mockery of conservation efforts of the Centre and the Gujarat government.

Expressing deep anguish over the deaths of Asiatic lions in Gujarat, Gogoi advocated for exhaustive conservation efforts in Gujarat in line with Kaziranga tiol Park in Assam, where the State government has succeeded in increasing the rhino population despite adversities.

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