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Villagers damage vehicles during anti-encroachment drive at Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary

Shrine of a local godman that was demolished in the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary In Raisen district on Friday morning.

Shrine of a local godman that was demolished in the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary In Raisen district on Friday morning.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Collector denies reports of firing by officials

Villagers damaged an earthmover and a jeep in the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary in Raisen district after authorities on Friday morning removed a shrine of a local godman encroaching upon the point of origin of the Betwa river, said the District Collector.

Denying reports of firing by officials, Collector Umashankar Bhargav said while a joint team of foresters, the police and revenue officials was returning from the Jhiri Baheda village after carrying out the task at 9 a.m., villagers skulking behind trees pelted stones on the vehicles, causing damage.

“We have removed the encroachments and freed the point of origin of the river. No injuries were reported,” he said. In the past eight years, a local godman had developed a hut, cow shelter and shrine on the spot.

The Kamal Nath government a month ago had launched a drive against encroachments and mafia in different regions and of varying nature.

Recently, a panel set up by the State government had finalised the contours of a proposed tiger reserve, the seventh for the State declared the Tiger State of India for recording the most number of tigers in the census whose results were declared in July, to be carved out of the sanctuary.

Nine of the 29 revenue villages in the sanctuary will fall in the reserve’s 763.812 sq km core area.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 2:06:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/villagers-damage-vehicles-during-anti-encroachment-drive-at-ratapani-wildlife-sanctuary/article30409631.ece

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