The HUSH POST | 14:30pm | ONE MINUTE READ
Gulel (catapult) is the new weapon that will now protect tourists at Taj Mahal in Agra. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel will now be armed with ‘gulel’ so that tourists can be protected from monkeys.
In view of several incidents of monkey bites Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has taken this step for tourists’ safety. Armed with ‘Gulel’ dozens of CISF jawans have been deployed at different gates of the monument. This is to protect tourists from the simians. Monkeys get scared and run away after seeing ‘Gulel’ in the hands of jawans and hence there is a rare need to use it.
Earlier, some officials had suggested to deploy ‘langoors’ at the monument premises. But due to Wildlife act provisions, monkeys cannot be attacked without adequate safeguards and precautions. Thus the idea of deploying ‘langoors’ was abandoned. The idea of shifting monkeys to other area did not work either because no district was ready to shelter monkeys.
CISF Jawans said that tourists cannot take food items inside the monument premises so they usually throw them at the gates. The simians gather at gates for food and they attack tourists. Several incidents of monkey bites have been reported last year.
Last year, in July an Australian woman was attacked by monkeys inside the Taj Mahal. Before that incident, two French tourists were attacked and bitten by monkeys while they were heading towards main mausoleum of the monument.
There were several monkey attacks in 2016 as well. A Columbian tourist’s bag had been snatched by a monkey and many of her currency notes were torn up.