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Controversy stares at army officers mess in Uttarakhand

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An Army officers' mess in could find itself in a row over posession of trophies of wild animals allegedly without permission from concerned authorities.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, a statutory body constituted by the central government to protect the wildlife, has asked Uttarkhand government to take action against Garhwali Officers' Mess of Garhwal Rifles Regiment Centre in Landsdowne for possessing trophies of various wild animals.

S B Negi, Additional Director, WCCB, gave the instruction to the Uttarakhand Chief Wildlife Warden, acting on a complaint lodged by an animal rights activist Naresh Kadyan.

In his complaint, Kadyan alleged the Garhwali Officers' Mess of Garhwal Rifles Regiment Centre, Landsdowne, is in possession of trophies belonging to various wildlife species listed under the Schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, without the permission of the competent authority.

"On the subject cited above, it is requested that the action taken in this regard may be intimated to this office, please," says a communication sent today by WCCB to Uttarakhand wildlife officials.

According to Kadyan, who represents an organisation called International Organisation for Animal Protection, no other mess in the is so rich in hunting games trophies as is the Garhwal Officers' Mess, Lansdowne.

A note circulated to the media says that in 1947 its collection of hunting games trophies was next only to the array of such trophies of the Maharajah of Mysore.

The vintage games trophies in the mess include tiger, leopard, lion, bear, musk deer, gurar, markhor, bison, thar and ibex heads, it says.

All these were shot between 1901 and 1938 and they were shot in countries including Italy, Iran, Afghanistan and Nepal, it adds.

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