Arunachal govt rubbishes media reports that say hunters killed cobra for meal as no rice left amid COVID-19 lockdown; says state has at least 3 months’ stock of rice
Itanagar: A national media house on Sunday published a report with a headline, "No rice left amid lockdown, Arunachal hunter kill King Cobra for meal."
Although the headline was changed later, the report created quite a stir in the state.
On Monday, the department of information and public relations (DIPR) through a tweet issued a clarification. "There is no shortage of rice in AP. The state has atleast three months stock at all places & is providing free ration to those who lost their livelihood. Around 20000 people have been provided free ration till date," it said.
Meanwhile, a press communiqué was sent across by the DIPR to clarify and pacify the chaos created on social media due to this particular report.
"The government of Arunachal Pradesh has noticed certain media reports regarding hunters killing King Cobra for meal as there is no rice left amid lockdown. Such factually incorrect reporting should have been avoided," said the communiqué from DIPR.
"There is sufficient stock of rice available in every district of Arunachal Pradesh which can last at lease for next three months. All the 13 CPO locations which are situated at remote border areas also have at least two months of rice stock. Since lockdown Indian Air Force has carried out multiple sorties of AN-32 and helicopter for lifting rice to remote locations in Arunachal Pradesh. State government has also used its helicopter for the said purpose, " said the release.
"FCI has also provided more than 1000 MT of rice for open market sales in various districts. The state has also created a buffer stock of 100 MT of potato and 60 MT of pulses which can be released in market based on the demand. The state is also providing free ration to those whose livelihood has been impacted due to the lock-down. Around 20,000 persons have received free ration in various districts of Arunachal Pradesh since the lockdown was announced,” the release added.
All the officials are available round the clock for any kind of clarification on any COVID-19 related issues, the release said.
"We request media fraternity to obtain information/clarification from official government sources before reporting anything related to COVID-19," said the release from DIPR.
Meanwhile, Union minister of state for youth affairs and sports Kiren Rijiju, who also hails from Arunachal Pradesh, also urged the media platform not to ‘make stories without verification’. Taking to Twitter, he said: “Dear @ndtv please don't make stories without verification! I'm dead against hunting and killing of animals so is the State Govt. But to say that there's no rice left for the people leading to killing of cobra is rubbish! No one hunts snakes for consumption in Arunachal Pradesh.”