The Rawalpindi district coordination officer (DCO) imposed section 144 in Murree on Sunday to protect wildlife from poachers.
DCO Saqib Zaffar had directed the Murree assistant commissioner, local police and the wildlife and forest departments to keep an eye on wild animals, especially leopards, snow leopards and their cubs.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the DCO said the ban on display of weapons in public had been imposed in Murree to protect endangered animals like leopards, which come down from hill tops in the winter for food and are easy prey for hunters. “It is illegal to trap or kill leopards for their pelts,” the DCO added.
When asked if any leopard killings had been reported recently, the DCO said he had heard reports from the Abbottabad and Kotli Sattian areas about the killing of some big cats.
“The Rawalpindi administration has decided not to let any animal get killed in Murree…some leopards are reported to be living in the hill tops,” said the DCO.
The ban on public display of arms in Murree will remain till the summer sets in, the district head of Rawalpindi added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.