DC asks Udharbond committee to remove birds from the pandal; members requested local MLA to intervene
Social media outrage has awakened the administration from its slumber. 300 birds are caged inside the pandal premises as a part of the decoration. The Kalibari Durga Puja committee which has mounted a replica Akshardham and a London bridge to attract visitors from the entire region installed the cages to make the pandal look more “natural”. A video was uploaded on social media which featured dhakis playing dhak and the birds inside placed in a very high decibel environment.
Netizens requested the deputy commissioner, Laya Madduri to intervene immediately. A section of the population said this caging birds in the name of ‘eco-friendly’ decoration signifies cruelty.
As per our sources, DC Laya Madduri who herself inaugurated the pandal has asked the Puja committee members to remove the birds from the pandal premises. Speaking with Barak Bulletin she confirmed that she has officially conveyed it to the Puja committee. She said, though the Puja committee members have got clearances and the birds are allowed to be kept as pets, considering the loud and bright environment she has taken the decision to ask them to remove the birds from the pandal premises.
Interior decoration of Udharbond kalibari Road Durga Puja committee
Posted by My Silchar on Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Speaking with us, Shankar Roy, secretary of the Udharbond Kalibari Durga Puja committee also confirmed that DC has indeed asked them to remove the birds. Roy said that this decision has landed them in trouble as the cages are placed in a manner that they cannot be removed while the pandal is open for the public.
“The birds are here for the last 10 days and they are well-taken care of. Today officials from the forest department also came and checked everything, we have all the necessary documents which allow us to transport and pet the birds. If we are forced to remove them now we will have to keep the pandal shut for two days which could create public outrage,” said Shankar Roy.
He said the committee has spent close to Rs 4 lakh to transport the birds here and if the birds are removed in a hurry there is a possibility that they will get hurt. He also added that the committee members have met the local MLA and requested him to speak with the deputy commissioner so that she takes back her order.
Local MLA, Mihir Kanti Shome took a jibe at the people protesting against this idea of keeping live birds as props to decorate pandals. He said to our correspondent that people who are protesting against this should first give up eating chicken and must immediately stop chaining dogs at home. He said like dogs, these birds are also exotic pets sold legally all around the world and are kept in many houses.
Shankar Roy too mentioned that there are pet shops in Silchar selling these birds throughout the year. He questioned the activists and accused them of being selective with their outrage.
Now, will the DC give up to political pressure and allow the birds to be there in the pandal or will she make the committee remove the birds from the premises, remains to be seen…