/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
Bhubaneswar: Snake Helpline Founder and Honorary Wildlife Warden Subhendu Mallik has demanded action against the persons involved in uploading illegal videos with snakes on different social media platforms for getting financial benefits in violation of an earlier advisory of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB).
In a letter to WCCB, Mallik stated that uploading of videos of snakes is a violation of the advisory issued by the statutory body on 30 December 2014. Besides, the snakes used in the videos were certainly hunted snakes in violation of Section 9 of Wildlife Protection Act too, he added.
Mallik alleged that various social media have now turned into money making business, and persons uploading snake videos in different social media platforms like YouTube, Vigo etc. are earning handsome money.
He does not have any objection of persons rescuing snakes from distressed households and releasing back into wild but has strong objections against persons indulged in snake catching and illegal snake charming on social media.
Mallik has named two persons – Rohit Meher of Bargarh and Sk Mirza of Bhadrak – as the topmost violators. He has mentioned while Meher earns money by uploading the videos on Vigo, Mirza generates money through YouTube.
In his complaint, Mallik has listed out the 8 IDs of Meher on Vigo under different names. He stated that Meher shoots fancy or stunt videos with girls and mixes them with background music scores to upload on Vigo to get maximum likes and flames, so that he can get more money.
By doing this, not only Meher is violating the Wildlife Protection Act but also putting life of the girls in danger, he added.
Meher was unreachable for any comment on the allegations despite concerted efforts by OMMCOM NEWS till the filing of this story.
Mallik has alleged that Mirza regularly uploads videos of himself and other snake handlers on YouTube, in violation of the WCCB directive. Besides, he facilitates snake handlers from other states to handle snakes inside Odisha, which is a more serious issue.
A person is permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden (CLWL) of his/her domicile State to rescue snakes. If that person enters another State’s territory his/her licences is invalidated and he/she has to apply to the CWLW of the respective State afresh.
However, Mirza helped snake handlers of other States to come to Bhadrak and shoot videos to be uploaded in YouTube. Therefore, the persons from outside the state of Odisha have also violated the act, added Mallik.
In his reaction, Mirza accepted that he uploads video on YouTube to get financial benefits as he has not been getting any government support to carry out his work of saving the lives of snakes and public alike. And the snake handlers from other States only visit him for training purpose which he provides free of cost.
Mallik has asked to ascertain the identities of the persons involved in the videos by taking Rohit Meher and Sk.Mirza into custody, and interrogating them in a strict manner.
“Since many persons from states other than Odisha are involved it would be better to hand over the case to Crime Branch of Odisha Police. The videos from both Vigo and YouTube can be used as the prima facie to the crime,” he added.