Chamarajanagar: Wildlife conservationists may be crying themselves hoarse over protecting animals in the state's forests , but poaching of wild boars is such an integral part of the culture of Kotekere village in Begur hobli of Gundlupet taluk in Chamarajanagar that the village elders have ordered a social boycott of anyone who dares defy this "custom."
The village elders came out with their new ruling after some of the villagers informed them that they wanted to respect wildlife protection laws and were ready to pay the penalty imposed on them for defying their diktat.
Kotekere shares a border with the Omkar range of the Bandipur National Park. According to the village elders, all families , including those with members in government service, must compulsorily send a member to poach wild boars in fields and unprotected forests areas in its vicinity or pay a fine. But when around 80 of the 300 families in the village refused to go poaching recently, they came out with a fresh diktat , saying anyone defying their order, would face a social boycott.
A village youth, Swami, soon got a taste of it and was socially boycotted after he refused to obey their orders to poach wild boars, and paid the fine instead. Supporting Swami, a couple of villagers too refused to hunt wild boars, attracting the anger of the elders.
"Earlier, those who didn't hunt boars were fined Rs 600 a year, but this year it has been hiked to Rs 1,000 a family," said one villager.
On learning of the incident, Gundlupet Tahsildhar, Nanjundaiah held a peace meeting in the village on Tuesday, and advised the villagers to obey wildlife laws.