NAGPUR: The 'Jungle Satyagraha' anniversary at Turia on the outskirts of Pench Tiger Reserve on the Madhya Pradesh (MP) side, turned out to be a forest destruction day with organizers and participants littering the buffer with plastic.

According to sources, on October 9, a function-cum-fare was organized by the MP revenue department to observe 'Jungle Satyagraha' as 'Shahid Din' in Turia outside Pench.

The satyagraha is observed to commemorate death of five tribals who laid down their lives to protect forests. This year the celebrations turned out to be big due to presence of MP tribal minister Kuwar Vijay Shah , Balaghat MP, KD Deshmukh and other leaders.

On October 15, when Satpuda Foundation (SF), a tiger and environment protection NGO working in Central India, reached the spot they were shocked to find heaps of plastic cups, plates and polythene bags littered there.

Villagers informed them that herds of chital and sambars were seen consuming the leftover food and plastic. Three buffaloes from Turia were also reported to be infected by the leftover food and plastic.

Understanding the seriousness, a six-member SF team immediately joined hands with 20 students of Jamuntola primary school and removed at least six quintal of plastic and rubbish from the spot.

Pench officials were not reachable for their comments. Maraskolhe, who is sitting MLA from Barghat in Seoni district, said he attended the function but had no knowledge about littering of plastic. "I will check up and inform," he said. He did not call back later.

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