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Relocating Asiatic lions: Gujarat has not given up

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 21:52

Ahmedabad: Gujarat government would be exploring "all legal options" to challenge the Supreme Court verdict on relocation of Asiatic lions to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

"We have received the full judgement and after going through it decided to explore all legal options against the verdict," Finance Minister and state spokesperson Nitin Patel said here today.

Sources said the matter was discussed at the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Narendra Modi today.

The state government will fight till all legal options are exhausted, sources said.

Gir sanctuary in Gujarat is the only home to Asiatic lions, an endangered species. The apex court had on Monday directed the Centre to shift some Gir lions to Kuno sanctuary in Madhya
Pradesh on the ground that the animals need a second home to prevent their extinction in the case of disasters such as epidemic or wild-fire in Gir.

Patel had earlier said Gujarat government felt the relocation was not desirable as it was "an emotional issue" for the people of the state whose efforts had led to increase in the number of lions in the Gir.

A century ago, Gir had housed around 100 Asiatic lions. The number, as per 2010 census, stood at over 400.

The state government can file a review petition in the Supreme Court, sources said.
Meanwhile, a bandh has been called tomorrow at Sasan area where Gir sanctuary is located.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 21:52

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