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Recovery of animal trophies, cash: Forest dept launches search for national level shooter

The forest department, which also has police powers, has registered a case against the father-son duo under the Wildlife Protection Act.

india Updated: May 01, 2017 07:50 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Hunting,Wildlife Protection Act,Poaching
Skulls of black buck and sambar deer were recovered from the residence of Col (retd) Devendra Kumar. (HT Photo)

A day after the recovery of 117 kg raw meat, animal skin, cash and arms from the house of Col (retd) Devendra Kumar here, the forest department is searching for the army man’s son Prashant Vishnoi, a national level shooter .

The forest department, which also has police powers, has registered a case against Col (retd) Devendra Kumar and Prashant under the Wildlife Protection Act. No arrests have been made in this connection as yet but the forest department has constituted teams to trace Prashant who is at large. Chief conservator of forest (west zone) Mukesh Kumar has directed the teams to investigate Prashant’s possible links with poachers.

The seized leopard skin. ( HT Photo )

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials had on Saturday raided the house of the retired army officer in Civil Lines area and were joined later by a team from the forest department. The officials recovered a leopard pelt, trophies of black buck and sambar deer, three horns of sambar deer, eight deer skulls (two without antlers), teeth of wild animals, 117 kg raw meat in 45 packets stuffed in a refrigerator and a knife with ivory grip. The DRI team also recovered Rs 99.98 lakh cash, guns of different bores and cartridges from the house.

A forest department official said the meat could be of blue bull or deer and added that the sample had been sent to laboratory for testing. SSP J Ravindra Gaud said no case had been registered with the police as yet. He said the forest department had the power to initiate action against the accused under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act. They said the DRI officials had the seized documents with them and they could initiate action against the retired colonel and his son.

Col (retd) Kumar and Prashant run a security agency. Prashant, a national level skeet shooter, secured 65th rank in the National Shooting Championship at Jaipur in November last year. Sources said Prashant was fond of hunting and was also a part of the team invited for culling of over 500 blue bulls in Bihar last year. He is also fond of befriending celebrities and posted pictures with actors, cricketers and politicians on Facebook.

First Published: May 01, 2017 07:50 IST