Haridwar: Expressing annoyance over the police action in the Babulal encounter case, the various employee unions of Rajaji National Park are holding a protest in a unique manner. The employees of the national park have surrendered the arms given to them for the protection of animals in the national park.

The move by members of Forest Security Association, Forest Beat Officers Association and Sahayak Van Karamchari Sangh comes in wake of the police initiative in which the national park Director has been alleged of murdering an intruder. 

Babulal encounter case was reported last year at Dhaulkhand range of the national park. Forest Department employees killed Babulal suspecting him as a wildlife smuggler. Taking a serious note of the issue, the police team had lodged a case of murder against the Director.

Giving the details of the protest, one of the officers of Haridwar range Mahendra Singh Negi said that employees of all nine ranges have surrendered their arms as a mark of protest.

On the flip side, the protest by surrendering the arms has given an open invitation to the wildlife smugglers who will enjoy a virtual free hand to kill animals in the National Park.

There are nine ranges in the park, among which Dhaulkhand and Beriwada are termed as most sensitive. Under the present scenario, the life of forest employees too is at stake.

Wildlife warden of the park informed that during monsoons it is important to keep vigil eye on the activity inside the park. But without arms it would not be possible to safeguard the employees or the animals.