In black buck poaching FIR at Bihar police station, SHO is among the accused
The FIR was registered on a complaint by forest officer Amit Kumar Prasad against the SHO and seven others under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972
SASARAM: A police station chief in Bihar’s Rohtas district has been named as an accused in a first information report (FIR) registered on a complaint by the forest department, accusing him of conniving with poachers who killed a black buck in the Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, people familiar with the matter said.
The black buck’s horns and meat were seized by the forest department from a sports utility vehicle parked inside the campus of Chenari police station headed by station house officer (SHO) Shambu Kumar on September 17. The forest department had acted on a tip, one official said.
Rohtas divisional forest officer (DFO) Manish Kumar Verma conducted the inquiry to ascertain how the vehicle turned up at the police station. The vehicle in which the black buck horns and meat were kept for safe-keeping was impounded in an unrelated case in June this year.
The FIR was registered on a complaint by forest officer Amit Kumar Prasad against the SHO and seven others under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 alleging that hunting of endangered animals was taking place in the sanctuary in connivance of the police personnel.
A second official aware of the matter said SHO Shambu Kumar told the forest department during its inquiry that the black buck’s head and meat were seized by them on September 15 and two accused were arrested. They claim that the seized items were kept in the SUV for safe-keeping and the two poachers arrested by them were released on personal responsibility (PR) bond the next day.
The police officers concerned also produced entries in the daily diary maintained at the station to record this seizure. Officials said this entry appeared to be in a different ink and handwriting and could have been added after the forest department seizure.
Forest department officials said they were not informed about the arrest or the seizure at any point before they discovered the items during their search carried out on September 17 following a tip-off.
Rohtas chief judicial magistrate Santosh Kumar has sought a forensic report to confirm that the seized meat was of a black buck and the forest department is conducting raids to arrest the absconding accused, DFO Manish Kumar Verma said.
Black Buck is an endangered species listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act. It is a non-bailable offence to hunt them and is punishable with a maximum jail term of seven years.
Rohtas superintendent of police Vineet Kumar said that the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Sasaram has been ordered to submit a detailed report on the incident.