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Samajwadi Party Alleges Sarus Crane Missing From Sanctuary, Slams BJP; DFO Refutes Claim

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that a Sarus crane taken away by forest officials from a man who rescued and cared for it in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, went missing after it was released at the Samaspur Bird Sanctuary in Raebareli. However, the Divisional Forest Officer denied the claim, saying the bird was seen in the sanctuary on Thursday morning. Yadav thanked locals who rescued the bird and criticized the government's negligence towards the state bird of Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav
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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav Thursday alleged the Sarus crane, which was taken away by forest department officials from a man in Amethi who rescued it and was taking care of it for a year, to the Samaspur bird sanctuary, went missing and was later rescued by some locals. Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rupesh Srivastava said in Raebareli that the Sarus was seen in the sanctuary Thursday morning and it did not go missing."Many thanks to the bird-loving 'Bi Saiya' village that saved the Sarus, fed it and did the work in which the Uttar Pradesh government failed. The truth is that there can be no greater power than love... If the BJP people understand this in time, then maybe the hatred inside them will reduce a bit," Yadav said on Twitter. 

Earlier in the day, the Samajwadi Party chief tweeted that the bird has gone missing, and said that it was a serious matter. "The famous sarus, which was forcibly taken away from Amethi by the UP Forest Department and released at Samaspur Bird Sanctuary in Raebareli, is now missing. "Such government negligence towards the state bird of Uttar Pradesh is a serious matter. The BJP government should immediately find the Sarus. Otherwise, the bird lovers of the whole world will agitate. Shameful!," Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi. He also tagged a media report which quoted a forest department official as saying that the sarus crane has gone missing from the bird sanctuary. Yadav said, "If the Chief Minister wishes, he can give some name to the missing sarus. But find him and save his life. That sarus  is also as dear to the whole of Uttar Pradesh as 'Golu' (a pet dog) is to the chief minister."

He later tweeted an eight-second video in which a man is seen feeding the bird and said that it was saved. The Sarus crane that lived with Arif Khan Gurjar in Amethi district's Mandkha village, accompanied him to his fields and was accepted as a family member.  Gurjar had found the bird a year ago in his fields in an unconscious state with an injured leg. He took the bird home, tended cot the wound and used a splint out of bamboo to keep the leg stable. Even after it recovered, the bird did not fly away. Whenever Gurjar went out, it followed. On Tuesday, the bird was taken away by forest department officials to the Samaspur Bird Sanctuary in Raebareli.

"Whatever action has been taken is with Arif's consent," Divisional Forest Officer D N Singh had said on Wednesday. The official said these birds always live in pairs. Since this one was living alone, there was some apprehension. Akhilesh Yadav had on Wednesday said that in the name of freeing the state bird of Uttar Pradesh the forest department took away for Sarau crane from the man who was looking after it.  "It remains to be seen what action is taken to free the national bird from the one who feeds it," he said in a tweet.

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