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Requesting the Release of Dr. Petr - Sukanya Kadyan

Offbeat  (tags: government, crime, ethics, environment )

- 3660 days ago -
Please have a look......may be violation of the law of the land but you have to see the integrity along with the motive of a person who did a bona fide mistake. Do you all agreed, if yes then comments here ....??????

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Past Member (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 8:32 pm

Marian E (152)
Monday July 7, 2008, 10:52 pm

Are the charges for trespass or for collecting protected insects without a permit? Or perhaps for both?

From the comments on the petition it sounds as if the man is honorable but
may have trespassed and collected insects in a protected area. If that were an accident done because he did not know he had gone into a protected area, then of course leniency on tresspass should be shown.

That leaves the second question. Did he collect insects (or larvae) for
research only? Or were large amounts taken for possible black market sale?
If only a small amount for research, again leniency would be warranted.

I appreciated your comment on the petition Naresh. It addressed these issues in a very fair manner.

I do still hope that it was for research only. I would hate to think that a true scientist, interested in the preservation of life, would become involved in stealing for profit.

Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 11:04 pm
Yes Marian E, thats true but here in India - animals are abused under safe cover RESEARCH. Oxytocien injection is most dangerous drugs while it used on the milking animals to let down the milk, In NDRI, Karnal I cought under video that they were using this drugs on buffaloes - I react & lodged FIR against, then moved to the High Court. In this incident if they went to the area with hidden interest - for commercial purpose then they must be punished but if collection was for research then it could be done in the presence of the concerned wildlife authorities. Let the matter be investigated by the concerned enforcement agencies!!!!!

Marian E (152)
Monday July 7, 2008, 11:14 pm

Again we are in agreement Naresh. Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday July 8, 2008, 12:16 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday July 8, 2008, 3:40 am
"Collect insects to understand insects,

Eat insects to conserve insects"

Dear Mr. Azam Siddiqui,

Thanks lot for your mail and the article.

Your mail is a very good example of the lack of awareness and general
misunderstandings existing even among the learned people about the less
charismatic and lesser known part of biodiversity which comprises 95% of the
total species existing on the earth- THE INSECTS. Unfortunately our
conservation strategies and policies are still pivoting around the protocols
developed for conserving a few charismatic species –which was originally
developed for conserving the game mammals, much before the concept of
biodiversity came to current day popularity.

The scientists [except the space and nuclear scientists who works for
defense who enjoys an elite status and popularity among the nationalists]
does not enjoy any popularity or they are not revered in India like
cricketers or mega stars. But they silently they do their job with total
dedication to the works they do. The scientists never catch insects for
eating, fun or trade like Salman Khan, Pataudi or others did. Entomologist
collect insects only for the sake of science, for the sake of mankind. The
world is not starving today because the entomologists collected and studied
the insects so that they could mange the pests and save our crops. All crop
protection studies, including the latest BT, are depending on the findings
of erstwhile Entomologists, who have extensively collected and studied
those. Insects play the most important roles in all ecosystem functions
except primary production. That is reason why Dr. EO Wilson –he is an
entomologist with a huge collection of ants from all over the world- praised
them as the "little things run the world". If you want to understand the
insects there are no short cuts- you should collect and study them.

Before writing this mail you should have read the Time magazine article
atleast once rather than trying to find parallels just based on the title of
the article. The times article itself gives answers for many of your doubts.

"entomophagy--the scientific term for consuming insects--could also be a far
greener way to get protein than eating chicken, cows or pigs" etc. etc.

The major threats to insects are not coming from collections or killings,
but from the pesticides poured into our fields and habitat lose due to
landuse changes. For producing every kilogram of rise we are killing
thousands of invertebrates. While building every square foot we destroy the
habitats for several species.

If people start to eat insects, it is not only going to provide cheap
proteins for the poor , but it will be bringing in a greener way of pest
control. So "eat insects, save life" ( I found caterpillars esp. 'bamboo
shoot caterpillars' more tasty than the grass hoppers. The cicada are tasty
but I don't like the feeling of their fatty abdomen burst between my teeth.
The Rhinoceros grubs (a common coconut pest) is delicious. Oecophila chutney
is good and I could never get the termite preparations although it si widely
eaten in India )

The total number of insects collected by an Entomologist in his/her life
term is not even one percent of the insects we kill in an acreage of paddy
field. But the science he produces is helping in feeding and sustaining the
mankind on the earth directly or indirectly. There are no cases of any
insect gone extinct due to collection for research purpose. Unfortunately
our rules, regulations and legislations are not helpful for the scientists
and science. You are further requested to see the following related articles
by a few of us on how Indian Laws are stifling biodiversity research.

Shadow of permit-raj over research :

Hurdles for Conservation science in India :

Science in the wilderness: the predicament of scientific research in India's
wildlife reserve :

Death sentence on taxonomy in India :

AS an Endnote let me say:

I can not be qualified as an "animal lover" in the definitions set by
organized animal lovers. I eat animals, I hate street dogs (they are human
pests due to bad habitat management) and I wish to leave all animals free
enjoying all their "natural animal rights" –not the rights defined by the
man. It is proven fact that Human beings, by origin and structure are
omnivores. So it is my right to eat animals. I can not find any reasons for
man keeping pets other than selfish motifs. I believe that keeping pets and
humanizing them by training is nothing less than making "behavioral bonsais"
for the sake of the keeper's benefits and entertainment. This is crueler
than eating them.

With warm regards


Joycey B (750)
Tuesday July 8, 2008, 7:55 am
Signed and noted with thanks Naresh.

Donna Smith (43)
Tuesday July 8, 2008, 4:41 pm
signed and noted

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 10, 2008, 7:52 pm
As international and domestic pressure mounts on the West Bengal forest department to release the Czech duo arrested for illegally collecting a large number of endangered insects from Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district, Hindustan Times has tracked one of them, as a self-proclaimed trader in insects.

Petr Svacha (51) and Emil Kucera (53) were caught on June 22 with over 200 beetles, butterflies and other insects and were remanded to judicial custody. On July 5, around 600 international and Indian researchers petitioned the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the West Bengal Chief Minister to release Svacha, an entomologist of repute, and his friend.

While Svacha is indeed a senior scientist at the institute of entomology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, his companion Kucera has a history of wildlife trading. His web site — — was shut down soon after he and Svacha were arrested. But Hindustan Times has web pages from the site where Kucera offered to sell beetles (coleoptera) by post.

Under Emil Kucera’s name, Czech address and phone number (+420-381-522776), the website claimed: “I’m offer (sic) insects (Coleoptera) from palearct region (mainly from China). Contact e-mail Insects I can send by post.”

Meanwhile, the petition claims the Czech duo moved unknowingly inside protected areas, their collection was meant for research and did not include endangered samples or anything of commercial value. But the haul included endangered butterflies and other valuable specimens. Tiger beetles, for example, are used for medicines in the Far East and South America and can fetch as much as $200 a piece.

“It is not only ethical but also a pre-requisite for a scientist to approach the authorities for permission before proceeding for any collection. If Svacha and Kucera are such renowned researchers, it is surprising that they did not know or chose to ignore the basic guidelines,” said Sumita Ghatak, Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife Division I, Darjeeling.

Svacha and Kucera have been charged under Sections 27 — entry without permission to protected areas — and Section 29 — removal of wildlife without permission from the chief wildlife warden — of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

On Wednesday, a special hearing at Darjeeling rejected the bail petition moved by the duo and slated the next hearing for July 21.

If the court finds the accused guilty, the penalty could be a minimum imprisonment of three years and a fine.

Mazoomdaar is an independent journalist

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 10, 2008, 9:27 pm
KOLKATA: The arrest in Darjeeling of two Czech nationals — who introduced themselves as a scientist and a forester and collected several rare species of butterflies and insects without permission from the forest department — has literally opened a can of worms.

Forest officials fear that they trespassed into Singalila National Park with a motive. And they might be part of a global network that trades in endangered varieties of butterflies and insects that fetch millions of dollars in the international market.

According to the forest department, one of the arrested, Peter Svacha, even has a website on which he has posted offers to sell some rare butterflies. Svacha and his companion Emil Kucera — who claimed to be a forester — were remanded in jail custody till July 21 by the Darjeeling court on Wednesday.

Forest officials seized 60 butterflies, over a dozen rare varieties of beetles and moths from them after their arrest from a Darjeeling hotel on June 22. The catch, made at the national park in Darjeeling, is estimated to be worth Rs 10 crore in the international market. It has been sent to the Zoological Survey of India for analysis.

Investigators are proceed-ing cautiously because the accused scientist is apparently well known and finds mention on several websites.

Seshmani Gurung, defence lawyer for the duo, said: "I could not attend the hearing because of the ceasework at court. I will advise my clients to write to the political party that has called the strike in government offices and to the Bar council to open the court for proceedings."

While the butterflies are listed in Schedule I, the beetles are included in Schedule II of the Wild Life Protection Act. Neither Svacha nor Kucera had clearance or permission to collect butterflies from Singalila National Park.
"But they were carrying all the necessary equipment, which shows they had come with a purpose. It can’t be that they were not aware that permission had to be sought. The two had insect catching nets, an axe, a saw, a lamp and glue. They were even carrying preservatives. We suspect the butterflies and insects would either have been smuggled to China or to some European country from the Czech Republic," said Utpal Nag, assistant divisional forest officer of Darjeeling. "Both are well aware of the forest rules and regulations in India and had done an extensive study on Indian biodiversity. This could be the tip of an iceberg."

Darjeeling and the Dooars are considered among the richest in the world in terms of biodiversity. The area is home to 120 rare species of butterflies that have a huge market in at least 16 countries including China, US and Tibet. Last year, a German national was caught collecting insects from Darjeeling.

"Bio-piracy is rampant in the eastern Himalayas. Just 3-4 cases have come to light in the last 10 years while the rest went unnoticed. Usually foreigners operate in the area posing as scientists. This is a cause for concern," said Deepankar Ghosh, senior coordinator of WWF India.

Past Member (0)
Thursday July 10, 2008, 10:02 pm
all signed
thank you, Naresh

Past Member (0)
Saturday July 26, 2008, 3:06 am
Kolkata, July 25 The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM), Darjeeling, granted bail to Czech scientists Petr Svacha and Emil Kucera on Friday morning. After spending more than a month in jail, the duo was finally released late in the evening.

ACJM U K Nandi granted the bail on a condition that the scientists will not be allowed to leave Darjeeling until further orders. They also need to meet investigating officers twice a week to complete the probe being conducted by the district police. Their passports, seized by the forest department earlier, will not be handed over to them.

Svacha and Kuchera were arrested by the police on June 22 for violating the Wildlife Protection Act, following complaints lodged by the forest department. Since then, they were lodged in the Darjeeling jail.

Earlier, the ACJM court had rejected their bail petition.

According to a source in the Darjeeling jail, a Czech embassy official from Delhi spoke to the scientists over the phone after their release. The jail authorities also provided them with a vehicle to reach Darjeeling town. “They left the jail at 6.30 pm,” said a source.

Advocate Taurang Pandit, counsel of the scientists, had moved the bail petition on July 23.

A spokesman of the Czech embassy in Calcutta said the scientists would give their full cooperation to investigating officers of the case. “We will move a petition before the court to relax the conditions of the bail,” he said.

Petr H. (0)
Wednesday July 30, 2008, 8:15 am
First of all I wish to say, that I am glad both Czech entomologists remain alive after spending so long time in circumstances inconceivable in country requesting to be regarded as civilized. It is unforgivable to hold foreign scientists as political hostages in conflict they have nothing in common – when there was a judicial strike.
Twelve years ago I was travelling in India. I learned one rule – never trust any Indian (well, there were nine exception to this rule in five weeks, four of them were local Christian reverends, one was clergywoman and the remaining four were professors of universities we met.
The National parks I visited during this journey were build and organized probably under spiritual leadership of Russian Prince Potemkin (see in Wikipedia Web what Potemkin villages means) and naming it “National Park” was only eyewash. According information, the place, where insects were collected, was lumber-jacked, so I suspect, that both Czech entomologists were incommodious witnesses of illegal wood-cuttery. India, as well as other countries in this region is "sadly-notable" in blatant corruption of local authorities (including Police and Justice), involved in this business and obtaining their hush-money for non-observing.
If Dr. Petr Svacha and his colleague Emil Kucera did something, they maybe ignored the lethaly monstrous Indian bureaucracy, which could be used by Bolywood, if some horror-films will be made there.
What was written by an Indian ink-spiller I would consider to be grotesque, if danger connected with such defamation would be smaller. According these bull-shits published there, they maybe are members of gang sending beetles for market to China. And one of catched has web page, where he offered beetles. Only one bagatelle – they are offered for change to improve collection, not for money, to improve bank account.
I am not an entomologist, but a herpetologist. What I know from China, Indian animals appear there, but they are smuggled by Indians or Tibetans, not by Europeans. Europeans use to smuggle, if, to Europe and for animals found on Chinese meet market it can be the last hope for staying alive. About Indian herpetofauna I can unambiguously proclaim, that it is Indians, who is guilty in its destruction.
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