Out on parole after being arrested by the police for allegedly being a part of an illegal lion show case in Gujarat, a 36-year-old hanged himself to death a few hours before his surrender at the end of the parole. The family of the deceased has alleged that he chose to die as he was fed up with being mentally tortured by forest officials.
The 36-year-old Lalji Jakhiya was arrested with five others by the forest department on the basis of a viral video in November last year. In the video, a lion was seen eating the carcass of a tied ox after killing it with spectators having a look at the sight and recording the happening.
According to the officials, Jakhiya was released from jail in Junagadh after being granted parole by the Gujarat High Court due to the third-wave of Covid-19. He was supposed to surrender to the police at the end of his parole at 12 pm on Saturday, March 19, but he hanged himself to death at a farmhouse in the Mendarda town of Junagadh, where he used to work as a caretaker.
Blaming the forest department for his extreme step, Jakhiya’s family thronged the government hospital, where his body was taken for the post-mortem, and demanded “justice” and the truth behind the case to be revealed. They refused to claim the body until an offense was registered against the Range Forest Officer (RFO) of Devaliya and some residents of Dedakiyal village in Junagadh district. However, the family later agreed and claimed the body after getting an assurance of thorough investigation in the case from the police officials.