The Chhindwara district police are looking for a Bhopal-based pastor Fr Anil Martin, whose licensed rifle was allegedly used by two men to poach the endangered blackbucks on December 13.
The matter came to light on the eve of President Pranab Mukherjee’s December 14 visit to the district when Chaurai police station personnel were conducting routine checks on vehicles.
Two persons, Nitin Singh Rajput and Brijesh S Sahu were arrested after police found two carcasses of blackbucks in the SUV they were travelling in.
Police also recovered a .22 rifle which was used by the duo for poaching the blackbucks in Chaurai jungles from the vehicle, sub divisional officer police (SDOP) of Chhindwara district, Shraddha Sonkar told HT on Thursday.
On interrogation, the duo revealed that the rifle belonged to one Anil Martin, who, police found out, was a pastor known to Sahu and had founded a prominent missionary school in Bhopal, the SDOP said.
“We’re making all possible efforts and hope to arrest Martin soon,” she said, adding that he has been untraceable since his involvement in the case came to light.
It was also found that Rajput had been accused in 27 cases of heinous crime, including murder, attempt to murder, extortion and loot.
The accused were booked under sections 429 and 34 of IPC, relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act and the Arms Act.