The Animal Welfare Board of India has sought a report on the issue of Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu being gifted a stuffed black partridge during his recent visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur corridor. After returning to Pakistan, Sidhu gifted the black partridge to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
According to news agency ANI, the Animal Welfare Board of India has sought a report in this regard from Chandigarh’s environment department within three days.
“I have received a letter from Animal Welfare Board and they have asked for a report on it within three days in the matter,” said Debendra Dalai, Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden.
A complaint in this regard was initially registered a volunteer, Sandeep Jain, with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. The complainant had demanded an investigation into how the black partridge was brought from Pakistan and kept in Punjab for so long.
According to the complainant, Sidhu’s act was in violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Speaking to news agency ANI, Jain had pointed that “it is illegal to keep an animal or a bird or their body parts without required permission”.
“I got to know through newspapers that Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu brought a stuffed black partridge from Pakistan and gifted it to the Punjab Chief Minister. This is violation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972,” the volunteer had said.
He had further said, “I have registered a complaint with Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, New Delhi demanding a probe on how the black partridge was brought from Pakistan and kept in Punjab for so long. It's illegal to keep an animal or a bird or their body parts without any permission.”
During a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh recently, Sidhu had presented him the stuffed black partridge. However, the Chief Minister had reportedly told Sidhu that he would have to check if it was permissible to keep the bird protected under Schedule IV of the Act.