Bengaluru: Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri, who has been chosen to act as a “tiger ambassador” in a media campaign for protection of big cats by a news channel, is now at the centre of a controversy with wildlife conservationists outraged at state forest officers for giving her a guard of honour in full uniform inside the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve during the shoot.
Nargis was given the guard of honour by an entire team of the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) at both Kabini and Udbhur checkposts in the reserve while shooting for the campaign.
“It’s a disgrace to the uniform,” said a conservationist. “Even if Shah Rukh Khan comes on a visit, we are not authorised to give him a guard of honour under the forest manual. The fact that these men were drawn from their protection duties to attend the guard of honour is shocking.”
STPF personnel said they had no choice but to do as told by their seniors.
“We could not go against their orders and had to participate in the salute. But this is not the job I signed up for,” rued an STPF member.
Conservator of Forests and Director of Nagarhole Park, R. Gokul, said the incident had taken place in his absence.
“It should not have happened,” he admitted....