- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
A kingfisher bird, released today morning, after found weak and unable to fly, last night by a conservationist – B. Lalmalsawma of Ramhlun locality; has been shot dead at Aizawl’s Chawnpui locality.
The offender, identified as – Laltlanzuala, a resident of Thenzawl village in Serchhip district who is currently working as a JCB operator at Chawnpui locality, has been apprehended by the forest officials.
“This morning at 9:38 AM, I went out of my house with my air gun for target practice. I saw a bird perching on a tree and shot it, and went to search for the bird. As I could not find the bird I went back home and left for work,” – Laltlanzuala stated.
The dead bird was found by residents of the locality and based on same, a report was submitted to Young Mizo Association (YMA). The YMA and the conservationist contacted the forest officials, who promptly reached the site and arrested Laltlanzuala.
The Kingfisher bird is protected under Schedule 4 of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 which is a punishable offence with upto 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25,000.
In recent months, there have been many instances of Air Rifles misuse in the state. As air guns and air rifles do not require licenses, they can be easily acquired by anyone.
Smuggling of air guns is also prominent in the state. On June 1, 2022, Assam Rifles seized 2 NX 100 air guns, 7 telescope sights and 20 boxes of air pellets, while on July 2, 2022, one NX 200 air gun was also seized by the paramilitary personnel. All these seizures have occurred at the Indo-Myanmar border.
It should also be noted that this is the season when hatchlings started leaving their nests.