Rights orgs concerned over animal abuse in Hawa movie, other films

TBS Report

10 August, 2022, 01:15 pm

Last modified: 10 August, 2022, 01:17 pm

Chanchal Chowdhury in Hawa. Photo: Facebook

Chanchal Chowdhury in Hawa. Photo: Facebook

Chanchal Chowdhury in Hawa. Photo: Facebook

A total of 33 environmental organisations have expressed deep concerns regarding animal abuse and violation of the Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012, in Bangladeshi films.

The organisations have condemned the forest department’s lack of measures to ensure the safety and security of animals in this regard.

In the recently released film “Hawa”, a Common Myna (locally known as Shalik) bird is shown to be bound in a cage. At one point in the film, the bird was killed and then eaten.

The same film’s behind-the-scenes footage features a stingray fish being picked up from the sea.

Besides, in recent times several other dramas and commercials have been seen violating the laws in place to protect and preserve wildlife.

Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA), a coalition of the environmental rights organisations, has expressed that wildlife-related crimes are increasing, as a result, the country’s wildlife is now under threat.

The convener of the alliance, Professor Dr Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumdar, expressed the concerns in an official statement on Wednesday (10 August).

He, in the statement, said that the film “Hawa”, released on 29 July has gained great popularity.

“Through reviews of the film published in various media and audience, we came to know it shows a Shalik bird in a cage, which at one point gets killed and eaten. Through this, there has been a clear violation of the Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012.

“Behind-the-scenes footage also showed marine animals being picked up from the sea.”

“We feel that the portrayal of such wildlife crimes will encourage common people to hunt, cage and kill birds,” he added.

Fishermen will also be encouraged to catch stingrays, which can make them subject to extinction, and affect the environment in turn.

So, immediate action should be taken to stop portraying such images, said the BNCA convener.

“The sad thing is that despite the film reaching a wide range of audience every day, the Wildlife Crime Control Unit, a Forest Department agency, is seen as a silent spectator of the film showing scenes of blatant crimes related to wildlife.

“Through this, the organisation’s lack of sincerity in wildlife conservation and law enforcement is clear. This has become a cause of concern for the conscious citizens of the country,” the convener added.

The statement also demanded that the film’s director and actors involved should issue a formal apology for showing scenes harming wildlife. It also urged the film’s screening to be halted immediately.

BNCA has warned that if prompt action is not taken, environmental organisations will be forced to take action themselves in the interest of wildlife protection as well as take legal action against the forest department and those involved in the film.

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