The leftover food of the troops is becoming a death trap for the monkeys around Nandini on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. Despite written warnings of the Wildlife department on the route at various places, 'Don't feed monkeys here', troops are seen violating all instructions.
Troops in the convoys on the highway keep feeding the monkeys with the leftover food of their community kitchens (langars), resulting in overrunning of these creatures by speeding vehicles while they collect the food stuff thrown to them.
Regional Wildlife Warden Nisar Ahmad Kitchloo told Hindustan Times that the department was going to take some concrete steps about this. He informed that the violators can be booked under Section 51 of J&K Wildlife Protection Act amendment 2002 and the detention could range from six months upto seven years depending upon the gravity of the Crime.
Besides, the violators have to pay a fine of no less than Rs. 25,000. Kitchloo said that the department had already identified some feeding points for the monkeys and that the people should strictly adhere to feeding the monkeys only in those zones on the highway.
Quoting Shakespeare, 'What flies to wanton boys, are we to gods, they kill us for their sport,' an environmentalist of the state Altaf Hussain said, that the monkeys not only for the troops but also for all the people have been years-old playing creatures just because they ape humans. "People are not concerned whether they live or die. They just want to have fun with them," he said.
Speaking to HT, Public Relations Officer Defence Jammu Lt Col S D Goswami said instructions had already been passed to the troops about the serious issue, which concerns the lives of the poor wild creatures. "Furthermore, we'll look into it again. We'll certainly pass on the message and view it seriously," he said.