AP Social Welfare Gurukul School and College at Arikera in Alur mandal. (Right) Peacock feathers found in the school premises
Kurnool: The issue of hunting of wildlife in and around the Gurukul school at Arikera in Alur mandal is yet to be resolved, although the implements used for hunting wild rabbits have been seized by the Forest department officials.
The officials are still conducting inquiry into the seizure. The stands taken by the school principal and the cooking staff facing charges of hunting are varying and only adding to the confusion.
Temporary cooking staff allegedly took some students for hunting
The Forest officials seized tools used for hunting but are yet to register a case
With the issue turning serious the staff are trying desperately to save their jobs. On the other hand, the Forest officials are not looking into the use of tools—like net, battery lights, deer horns, skin, feather of peacock and two live wild rabbits—which have been seized by them following hunting by the school students.
This has angered the student organisations which are getting ready to conduct agitations, even as the inquiry is continuing. The temporary cooking staff which went for hunting allegedly took some students along, some students say, but are hesitating to disclose it openly.
As the issue came to light the HMTV/Hans India gave information to the Forest department. Following this, the Forest staff conducted searches in the school and seized the tools. Such happenings in the gurukul school which are being run as a prestigious school with the lofty aim of pursuing higher studies have attracted widespread criticism.
The school has 700 students and 50 staff members with good protective cover. However, its location close to the forest surrounded by hills with wildlife moving appears to have tempted the temporary cooking staff to take up hunting, whenever they find time to go into the woods. The staff members are allegedly selling the meat of the killed animals. Mostly deer are found moving near the area where the school is located.
Nearby villagers have often complained to ruling leaders in the government and officials of the deer damaging their fields. Following the complaints, the previous Congress and the present TDP governments have promised to build special parks for the animals. But, the promises are yet to be honoured. This has suited and encouraged the hunters to persist with their activities. The hunters have been killing hundreds of deer and making money in a routine manner, as the animal moves along roads and in fields like pets.
The hunters use battery lights while chasing and killing animals like deer, rabbit and peacock and sell their meat and skins at high rates. They make entries of the sales in special account books and collect the amounts. The Forest staff has seized these books. The entries show that ten days back ten deer were caught by the hunters and each was sold for Rs 16,000.
When HMTV/Hans India sought a clarification from the school principal, he stated that he was unaware of such happenings and that some persons were resorting to such allegations as part of a conspiracy.
He claimed that nets and other tools used in the hunting deer have been planted in the school. On the other hand, the cooking staff maintains that they have placed the hunting tools in the school after finding them outside. They allegedly have begun efforts to save their jobs by approaching the officials concerned offering allurements. Interestingly, the Forest department is yet to register cases regarding the issue. This has also attracted widespread criticism.