India: Fishermen eat dolphin after accidentally catching it, police nab one
In a disturbing incident, the police in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have lodged a case against five fishermen after they allegedly caught a rare Gangetic dolphin -an endangered species- from the Yamuna River and ate it.
According to a PTI report, the police took the action after a video of the incident went viral on social media on Sunday (July 23). The Kaushambi police released a statement saying it had arrested one perpetrator while an investigation was on to nab the others.
"On the basis of the written information given by Forest Officer Ravindra Kumar in connection with the hunting of Gangetic dolphins in Yamuna river village Naseerpur, a case has been registered in Pipri police station. One accused has been arrested in the case, and soon the rest of the accused will be arrested," read the statement by the police.
The arrested culprit has been identified as Ranjeet while Sanjay, Diwan, Babaji and Gendalal remain on the run.
Netizens were furious after the incident came to light, with many demanding harsh action against the offenders.
"Dolphins are among the most loving and intelligent of loving being. They exhibit almost all emotions of a human. This is akin to and treated as killing another human," said one user.
"Horrible animal abuse. Thankful one has been arrested and looking for the others. Hate abusers," added another.
Meanwhile, a third said, "Gangetic dolphins are dwindling in numbers, we should try and give back their habitat as it used to be ( difficult of course, but with awareness can be improved). I remember seeing them when I was small. While crossing the Ganga on ferry often they would surface."
Dwindling population of Gangetic dolphins
The Gangetic dolphins once roamed the entire length of the Ganga and Brahmaputra, and their tributaries. However, rapid industrialisation, and the increasing use of pesticides, fertilisers and other chemical substances have contributed to a drastic decline in their numbers.
As per a 2018 National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) report, the population in the river and its tributaries reduced from about 10,000 in the late 19th century to around 3,526 in 2014. The IUCN Red List has placed these mammals in the "endangered" category. A recent World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report pegs their population at less than 2,000.