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Three suspended in Terai elephant poaching incident

One forester and two forest guards were suspended in a tusk seizure case of Terai West forest division reported on October 27. Two separate investigations are underway to unearth the poaching incident

dehradun Updated: Nov 21, 2017 20:20 IST
Nihi Sharma, Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,poaching,elephant
Involvement of some people in Delhi and other cities are suspected. They will also be investigated in next phase, officials say. (HT File)

One forester and two forest guards were suspended in a tusk seizure case of Terai West forest division reported on October 27. Two separate investigations are underway to unearth the poaching incident.

Forest staff single handedly arrested Mohammad Qasim, 35 who was smuggling two tusks of 1.25 mt and 1.15 mt and about 0.35 cm periphery from Ramnagar. Qasim, who is a forest dweller, said the adult elephant was buried at his farmland which was adjoining reserve forest.

He confessed of finding the carcass of the animal. He then took off its tusks and buried the carcass in the ground.

Once it was decomposed, he burnt the bones. While many questions were raised on the disposal of carcass which he couldn’t have pulled alone, during preliminary information, involvement of field staff was reported owing to which three suspension were done.

Parag Madhukar Dhakate, chief conservator of forest (CCF), told Hindustan Times, “The investigation highlights involvement of three staff members who are suspended. The probe is going on and we aim at unearthing the nexus.”

Sources in the department also claim that the ranger is also involved in the case. In fact, the elephant’s carcass was found after it was hit by high tension wire. The ranger had ordered to take off the tusks and kept it hidden.

“Assistant director Nainital Zoo is conducting the investigation and I am sure even the ranger will be questioned. There’s another investigation being done by sub divisional officer of the division. Those involved will face tough action,” Dhakate added.

Furthermore, involvement of buyers in Delhi and other cities was also reported in the case which will be investigated in next phase.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 20:20 IST