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Guilty Animal: 18 Lions will be put on trial for murder of 3 in Gujarat

Asiatic lions are on the endangered species list and there are about 400 lions remaining in the wild

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Sleeping Lion. Image source: reddit.com
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  • After the attack of three, 18 lions will be watched for signs of aggression
  • Police will be observing their behavior, checking prints, and testing feces to look for signs of aggression towards humans
  • The Supreme Court stepped in to have them relocated

Eighteen Asiatic lions will be tried in the murder of three people in Gujarat. Police seem confident that they will be able to frame the lions. As punishment, one of the eighteen lions will be sentenced to life in a zoo. The rest of the eighteen will be released back into the wild.

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Asiatic lions are on the endangered species list. There are about 400 lions remaining in the wild. Humans are intruding on their land; with this shared space roughly only 270 lions can be accommodated. The small space forces some of the lions to migrate, leading them straight into human-animal conflicts, said a Scroll.in report.

The investigators of the case have been following the lions’ behavior, and they believe that they have one guilty lion picked out. In an interview with BBC, wildlife expert Ruchi Dave said, “Man-eating lions usually get aggressive at the sight of a human being.” The investigators are still waiting for the results of nine other lions.

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Lion in Gir Forest in Gujarat. Image source: Indian Express
Lion in Gir Forest in Gujarat. Image source: Indian Express

The Supreme Court stepped in and ordered for the animals to be relocated to other states. The lions have yet to be moved. Gujarat says the process will take 25 years (or more) to move the lions from the Gir National Park in Gujarat to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. The Prime Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, opposes the relocation of the lions. Since the Supreme Court’s involvement in 2013, they directed the government to relocate the wild cats.

Abigail Andrea is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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  • AJ Krish

    Lions tried for murder? We encroach their lands, destroy their habitat and relocate them.Now , they are being tried for murder. Aren’t we interfering with the natural order?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    We harm them to much more extent. If we get into their territory, they have no choice left with them but killing.

Next Story

India Gets A Win, Supreme Court Decriminalizes Homosexuality

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

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Homosexuality, India
SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

 In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex, as “manifestly arbitrary”.

In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Rohinton Nariman, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional.

The bench said it is no longer an offence for LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community to engage in consensual sex between two adults in private.

Reading out the judgment, Chief Justice Misra said attitudes and mentality have to change to accept others’ identity and accept what they are, and not what they should be.

Homosexuality, India
LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow.
Pixabay

“It is the constitutional and not social morality which will prevail,” said the court.

The verdict sparked celebrations in the LGBTIQ community across India even as the judgment was being read out. Many of the community members who had assembled outside the apex court jumped in joy and distributed sweets.

Chief Justice Misra said consensual sex between adults in a private space, which is not harmful to women or children, cannot be denied as it is a matter of individual choice.

Section 377 will not apply to consensual same-sex acts between homosexuals, heterosexuals, lesbians, the court said, clarifying that sexual act without consent and bestiality will continue to be an offence under section 377.

“An individual has full liberty over his or her body and his or her sexual orientation is a matter of one’s choice,” said the Chief Justice.

“Time to bid adieu to prejudicial perceptions deeply ingrained in social mindset. Time to empower LGBTIQ community against discrimination. They should be allowed to make their choices,” he added.

Homosexuality, India
In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Pixabay

 

In a concurring judgement, Justice Nariman said homosexuality is “not a mental disorder or disease”.

He said the LGBTIQ community has an equal right to live with dignity and are entitled to equal protection of law. He directed the Centre to give wide publicity to this judgment to remove the stigma attached to homosexuality.

Justice Chandrachud said to deny the LGBTIQ community their right to sexual orientation is a denial of their citizenship and a violation of their privacy.

“They cannot be pushed into obscurity by an oppressive colonial legislation… Sexual minorities in India have lived in fear, hiding as second class citizens,” said Justice Chandrachud, adding “the state has no business to intrude on such matters”.

Justice Indu Malhotra said that history owes an apology to the LGBTIQ community for all that they have suffered on account of the ignorance of the majority about homosexuality.

“LGBTIQ people have a right to live unshackled from the shadow,” she said.

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The Supreme Court verdict, which overruled its own earlier judgment, assumes significance as in the earlier round of litigation in 2013, the top court had reversed a Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality.

The Delhi High Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice A.P. Shah, had in July 2009 legalised homosexual acts between consenting adults by overturning the 149-year-old law — finding it unconstitutional and a hurdle in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In December 2013, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya in the Suresh Kumar Koushal and another vs Naz Foundation and others case, had set aside the high court’s judgment and said that it was for the legislature to look into desirability of deleting section 377 of IPC.

The matter was subsequently resurrected in July 2016, when a fresh petition was filed by members of the LGBTIQ community — dancer N.S. Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur — which was then marked to the Constitution Bench by a Division Bench.

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The reference was made on the basis of submission that it was the first time that individuals directly affected by the provision were approaching the court.

Among the petitioners are a batch of current and former students of Indian Institutes of Technology. Claiming to represent more than 350 LGBTIQ alumni, students, staff and faculty from the IITs, the petitioners said that the existence of Section 377 had caused them “mental trauma and illnesses, such as clinical depression and anxiety and relegated some of them to second-class citizenship”. (IANS)