The Siddharth garden zoo, managed by the Aurangabad municipal corporation at whopping annual budget of Rs 80 lakh, is now under the scanner for one of the biggest animal trophies and animal articles seizure is the state in recent years with the forest department here on Monday slapping serious charges on the zoo director, Dr Rizwi, who was found in possession of nearly 86 tropies in the zoo premises.
The case against the zoo director has been filed section 39, 40 and 40 (A) (concerning the trade and commerce of wild life animal articles) of the wild life protection act 1972.
Earlier a three member committee appointed by the deputy conservator of forest, Mr O Chandramore, found Dr Rizwi, had tactfully violated a number of mandatory procedures, set up by the central zoo authority, which governs all zoos in the country, to keep to himself over 86 animal trophies, skins, skeletons, ivory and other animal articles.
Dr Rizwi has been all along maintaining that animal articles were lying at the zoo for the only reason that the forest department never collected it despite his writing to them. But the deputy conservator of forest has now found that while Rizwi did write those letters (to the chief conservator of forest, Nagpur, Maharashtra ), he had been duely replied, giving him detailed direction on what he should do with the articles. ``he was either supposed to have burnt them in the presence of forest officials, or handed it over to the department after conducting a panchanama as per directions from the CCF,'' Chandramore said.
But Dr Rizwi never compiled with the directions of the CCF Nagpur and the animal articles continued to remain in his possession.
It is also intriguing why Dr Rizwi took the trouble of writing to the CCF nagpur when he could have very well got in touch with his deputy placed here at Aurangabad, firest officials said.
Interestingly the one letter which Dr Rizwi says he wrote to the deputy conservator of forest Aurangabad, detailing the articles in his possession, never reached the office.
The one area where forest officials are exploring at is whether the animals had indeed died a natural death or had been killed officials said. As to the motive of Dr Riwi in keeping the animal articles there is nothing let to imagination, a senior committee member said.