Suspended for Rescuing the Birds

Often we see there is no reward for good deeds, but there is punishment for even the slightest misdemeanour. Given this state of our society, it should not come as a surprise that a kind and responsible senior official of the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) has, reportedly, been suspended for seizing migratory birds trapped by poachers in Badin district, reinforcing the commonly-held belief that law-breakers can get away with anything if they enjoy the backing of influential lawmakers who are ever ready to lavishly bestow favours on their favourites. In the present instance, a minister of the provincial government is said to be instrumental in the suspension of the official.

Poachers had trapped 150 migratory birds and they were on their way to Badin city when officials of the wildlife department rescued the birds from them. One of the three poachers intercepted by wildlife officials escaped. The escaped poacher was so bold-faced that he later intercepted a wildlife official and he, with the help of a friend, tried to snatch the confiscated birds. The officials promptly released the rescued birds into Haleji Lake in Thatta district. The ‘suspended’ official says he has been suspended on the charge of dereliction of official duty; but has not received communication in writing and only been informed about the suspension.

Residents of Badin district claim that people are hunting birds without any let and hindrance as officials ignore the illegal activity. Many people are making a considerable amount of money by hunting and trapping birds. Residents say trapped birds are being freely sold in the market. This unlawful activity has been going on for years obviously with alleged official and political patronage. Sometimes few poachers are arrested and trapped birds seized from them. This is, however, rare and uncommon. SWD officials have evaded comment on the issue of the ‘suspension’ of a senior officer of the department. How difficult it is to be honest!

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