Assam Governor Patnaik appeals against practice of trapping birds in Jatinga

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

JATINGA - Assam Governor J B Patnaik on Tuesday appealed to the locals of Jatinga village, which is famous for the mysterious phenomenon of birds committing suicide at a particular time every year, to stop the practice of trapping birds.

Governor Patnaik asked the audience to stop the hunting of birds since Jatinga is known for the migration of rare birds and will attract tourists from all across the world.

“Birds take rest throughout the night, they do not fly. Only the big lights attract them, and that is a cruel way of killing the birds. I, therefore appeal to you that this aspect of Jatinga Festival should be as far as you are concerned banned,” said Governor Patnaik, while addressing a gathering of locals here on the occasion of the Jatinga International Festival that was held recently.

“This is not really the way to giving tribute to people of Jatinga, and people of Dima Hasao district. We are all there to protect the animal life of this country,” he added.

This festival was hosted between October 27 and 29 to promote tourism in the region and also to appeal to the people to stop hunting of the migratory birds, which are major attraction of the Jatinga village.

Jatinga, an ornithologist’s heaven, is known for thousands of different birds flying in the village during the span of October to December.

Due to spiritual beliefs, locals kill these migratory birds by attracting them using attractive strong lights.

The strong beam lights disorient the birds, making them an easy prey or a catch for the locals.

Jatinga Block Villages Council President Albinos Suchiang mentioned that the locals catch birds as a tradition of seasonal festival more than hunting.

However, he also noted that the villagers have started understanding that trapping or killing of bids upset the ecological balance.

“We do not call it hunting but it’s like a festival for us. Bird catching is a tradition in Jatinga, the government is appealing to stop this practice since the number of birds are reducing,” said Albinos Suchiang.

The Jatinga International festival became a great platform to appeal to the locals to stop bird hunting.

Several colourful programmes from traditional dance and music to rock concerts happened to the hallmarks of this grand festival, which also witnessed the participation of Bollywood singer Lucky Ali. (ANI)

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