Minister to be questioned in Chinkara case
Minister of State for Transport Dharmarao Baba Atram is likely to be questioned by the forest department, reports Satyajit Joshi.india Updated: Jun 24, 2008 03:14 IST
Minister of State for Transport Dharmarao Baba Atram, who is under a cloud for allegedly hunting a Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) in Pune district, is likely to be questioned by the forest department.
This was indicated by Forest Minister Babanrao Pachpute after conducting an unscheduled meeting with forest officials on Monday.
The chinkara is a scheduled animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, whose hunting is strictly prohibited.
“Officials will follow the legal procedure and they have been given freedom to conduct investigation. We are not going to interfere in it,” said Pachpute. Both Pachpute and Atram belong to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.
Based on a complaint by three villagers, the forest department has filed a case at Saswad court in Pune booking unknown persons for hunting and trespassing in the forest area.
Sources in the department said, on condition of anonymity, that they had made preparations to question the minister. “Atram himself had admitted that he was present in the area on the night of June 14,” said a senior forest official, who had earlier recorded the minister’s statement when Atram had denied his involvement.