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Sadhguru’s Jeep safari inside Kaziranga at night is against forest rules

Sadhguru’s Jeep safari inside Kaziranga at night is against forest rules

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and spiritual leader Jagadish Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru, were criticized for going on a jeep safari inside the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), a site of the UNESCO world heritage in Assam, after sunset.

Sadhguru’s Jeep safari inside Kaziranga

The spiritual guru participated in the Night Safari in the central range of the national park with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarama, Minister of Tourism Jayanta Malla Baruah and senior officials from the park and forestry department.

According to the protocol, Safari is not allowed inside the park after sunset, as it causes problems for wildlife. As per the Kaziranga National Park website, the jeep and elephant safari takes place in the park from 8am to 10am and 2pm to 4pm only.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the three-day ‘Chintan Shivir’, CM Himanta Sarma stated that no laws in the country, including those on wildlife protection, prohibit entry to forest areas after sunset.

“Going to wildlife sanctuaries at night is all the rage around the world. Places like Singapore have been doing it,” he said.

The controversy over the jeep safari with the Sadhguru is in fact creating a negative impression on the state and its people as it shows Assam inviting an esteemed guest and then creating a ruckus over it, he said.

With Sarma at his side, Sadhguru drove the vehicle Saturday night to tour a portion of the national park along with other dignitaries. Sadhguru was here for the opening of the ‘Chintan Shivir’.

Sarma and Sadhguru were criticized for going into the forest in the dark with their headlights on, while locals also filed a police complaint alleging the violation of wildlife protection laws.

FIR filed against CM Sarma, Sadhguru

This response from the Chief Minister of Assam came as a reaction to the FIR filed by two wildlife activists at a police station in the state for Himanta Biswa Sarma and Sadhguru’s night jeep safari.

The FIR was filed at the Bokakhat police station in the Golaghat district of Assam by people residing near the Kaziranga national park led by two wildlife activists.

Environment activist Rohit Choudhury took to Twitter and stated that the jeep safari could be a violation of Section 27 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 which is related to restrictions on entry in a protected forest area.

“His (Sadhguru’s) act in Kaziranga National Park last night has dismayed us. How come a VVIP has been allowed to drive a Gypsy car deep inside the national park after sunset? In this act, our CM is also an accomplice. Really pathetic,” senior journalist Pranay Bordoloi wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

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