The mystery of the death and cremation of 30 black bucks is alive. On Friday, chief minister Prakash Singh Badal ordered an investigation into how a stray dog could scare the herd to death after sneaking into the open enclosure at Deer Park in the Beer Talaab forest near Bathinda.
The report of 29 black buck deaths on Thursday morning prompted the chief wildlife warden to lead his team to the spot from Chandigarh on Friday. One of the wounded bucks died on Friday at the park. The subdivisional magistrate, additional superintendent of police, and deputy director of wildlife department will investigate the matter together.
On Friday evening, the CM was at the park, and there ordered an inquiry. In the morning, the national and state presidents of the Bishnoi community that worships black bucks also reached the site and found reasons for doubt.
On Thursday after the incident, the deputy commissioner of Bathinda had asked three veterinarians led by Dr Navneet Kaur to submit the autopsy report by Friday. The team now will hand him the report on Saturday.
The broken gate: The very first reason for doubt. "It's suspected that the gate was broken," said chief wildlife warden Dharindra Singh, "but the team inquiring into the matter."
Dog's breaching of the fibre net: If the dog came in from the open gate, how did it breach the fibre net protecting the cage. "The dog entered through the fibre net at night and chased the bucks, causing shock and stampede among the deer," said range officer Gurpal Singh Dhillon.
Looks planned to Bishnois: "The workers here suspect someone's plan behind letting the dog in," said Rajiv Kumar, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Bishnoi Yuva Sangathan. "The state government has spent more than Rs 6 crore on the construction of a boundary wall."
Hurried cremation: "The forest officials did not report the incident to any sarpanch from the villages nearby, local civic body or the media," said Ramesh Kumar Bishnoi, president of the All-India Jeev Rakhsha Bishnoi Sabha.
"Even the cremation was done in a hurry and away from anyone's focus. It raises doubt." "At 7am, we reported the matter to the district forest officer and deputy commissioner," said forest range officer Gurpal Singh. "The bucks were cremated around 2pm after doctors had collected samples for autopsy."
Ashes don't add up: The Bishnoi community said the amount of ashes left after the cremation of black bucks don't add up to 29 animals. "We aren't sure that 29 animals were burnt," said a representative of the community.
"The ashes are very less, while the forest department claims to have burnt all carcasses. They took more than 10 quintals of wood but even to naked eye, it's clear that the ashes of the animals are very less."
CM pained: "A probe is ordered," said chief minister Prakash Singh Badal after being on the site on Friday. "After what happened, everyone's in grief. Neither the media nor the officials ever reported any shortage of guards and infrastructure at the park."
41 bucks in 1,200 sq ft space: The Bishnois have raised questions over the keeping of 41 black bucks in 1,200-square-feet enclosure. They have called it either negligence of the department or wrong reporting of figure.
Screaming of the horns: The Bishnois say the buck horn does not burn, while the forest officials claim to have a video of it burning.
Unheard shrieks: Bishnois doubt why the guard failed to hear the shrieks of 29 bucks screaming together for two hours and more.
How can one dog kill 29 bucks: Its' hard to believe that a lone dog can kill 29 bucks in a cage. Veterinarians reported that the canine killed five, while the rest died of shock and stampede. In the morning before the incident, labourers had reported dogs sitting outside the broken gate. There's doubt why the entire pack didn't move into the cage when it had the chance.