Friday, January 11, 2008

An animal activist has been arrested by the Sion police for extorting money from butchers and animal transporters for allowing them to flout animal welfare laws.

Bhavin Gathani, founder of the NGO called Karuna Parivar for “animals in pain”, claims to be former Union Minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi’s personal secretary.

Bhavin Gathani (seen here with Maneka Gandhi), allegedly took money from transporters and butchers to allow them to flout animal welfare laws
The complainants — butchers and animal transporters — say in their police complaint that Gandhi has written several letters in Gathani’s favour to the city police, seeking their co-operation to help stop cruelty to animals.

But Gathani misused these to extort money. According to police, six to seven licences are required to transport animals across the state. Most transporters do not obtain all the required licences.

As an animal welfare officer, Gathani has the authority to stop these trucks and report the offenders to the police — which he allegedly does not do, in exchange for a fee.

He allegedly asks for Rs 12,000 to 15,000 from each butcher and transporter in exchange for allowing them to flout the animal protection laws. If their goods are confiscated by the police, transporters end up paying double the extortion amount, so they prefer to pay activists instead, they say.

Couple of days ago, Gathani allegedly asked four butchers, including one Ghulam Hussain, for Rs 25000 each per month to stop interfering with their work.

Gathani allegedly asked them to hand over the money to his associates on Wednesday at Five Gardens. Hussain agreed to pay, but instead recorded the conversation and took it to the Sion police.

They say they had been approached by other butchers in the past, complaining about Gathani.

Police say they have often been misguided by animal activists, who intercepts trucks carrying animals, even if they are following regulations.

Police arrested Gathani from his home in Goregaon.

Senior police inspector of Sion station, A W Surve says, “We have arrested him on charges of demanding money to carry animals in trucks. Normally RTO permission and other licenses are required, which the butchers don’t carry. Gathani, through his network, kept tabs on the animals pouring into the city and use to blackmail transporters and butchers for entering the city without any police action.”

Gathani is currently in police custody and will be taken to the Kurla court on Thursday. The conversation tape has been sent to the Kalina forensic lab for authentication.

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Bhavin Gathani, founder of the NGO called Karuna Parivar for ?animals in pain? is found collecting money from illegal transporters misusing his Animal Welfare Card, his organisation using recommondations of Ex-Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi.

It seems a nationwide network is functioning extracting money from illegal transporters under shelter umbrella of very high powerful animal activists.
Last year also AWBI was directed by Ministry to withdraw all Animal Welfare Officer Cards on complaints of same nature. Still these brokers like Thadani have not stopped their business.
To break the nationwide network Central agency shall be transferred the case to investigate the matter to save transporters & stop illegal transportation

- Contributed by Dr. SK MITTAL , on Friday, January 11, 200812:41 PM

Shame......shame, animal rights & their welfare became business in India now.

- Contributed by Naresh Kadyan , on Friday, January 11, 200810:45 AM

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Srinagar, Jan 14: Many mutton shops in Srinagar Monday remained closed because of shortage of stocks caused by the continuous strike of dealers in Bakra Mandi in the capital city of India against their alleged harassment by the followers of social activist and BJP leader Meneka Gandhi in Haryana.
Valley imports a major chunk of livestock from the Bakra Mandi, New Delhi. Although many dealers import sheep from Amritsar and North Indian States, but they cannot fully cater to the demand in the Valley.
“Not a single truckload of sheep has come to the Valley from outside since Thursday due to the strike in main Bakra mandi,” Firdous Ahmad, a wholesale dealer told Greater Kashmir.
He said some twenty odd truckloads were being imported to Valley from the Bakra mandi everyday which came down to 3 to 4 truck loads after the activists of Maneka Gandhi’s NGO, People for Animals (PFA) started harassing the dealers.
“The activists who actually are thugs ask for huge amounts of money from the dealers for carrying more than 140 sheep in a truck saying that they would allow only 40 sheep per truck,” he explained.
Mention to be made that the government of J&K allow loading of 140 sheep in a truck.
He said it was unlikely that the strike would end soon. “The situation is going to be worse in the coming days and with very less import there would be more shortage of the mutton in the Valley,” he said.
“The state government should look into the matter otherwise there would be a crisis in Valley as the little supply from other states would not be able to keep up with the demand.
Many mutton shops across the city here remained closed today while some could be seen selling the chicken. “We are running out of stock because of no import during the last five days,” Rashid Ahmad Ganai, a butcher at Bemina said, adding, “there is no news when the strike will end so its better to earn some money selling chickens.”
Meanwhile, the rates of the poultry products have also increased in the wake of shortage of mutton in the valley. The rate of the poultry has increased from 5 to 10 rupees per kilogram.
Meanwhile, President, All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers’ Union told Greater Kashmir that the problem was being created by some thugs in Haryana to fleece the dealers. “They are not the followers of BJP leader Meneka Gandhi or the members of some NGO. They are actually the thugs who extort and harass the dealers.”