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Mumbai’s SGNP to start a fresh probe into 2016 killing of fawn

Residents of tribal hamlets in park to be questioned; Six Film City poachers in judicial custody

mumbai Updated: Jan 10, 2019 01:14 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Forest officials inspect the wire trap snares that were used to capture the animals at Film City in Goregaon
Forest officials inspect the wire trap snares that were used to capture the animals at Film City in Goregaon(HT Photo)
         

After the eight men arrested in the Film City wildlife poaching case revealed they had also killed a deer inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivli in 2016, the park authorities have initiated a fresh probe into the incident.

The discovery of two carcasses – a leopard and sambar deer in Film City and Aarey Colony – on December 31 led to the unearthing of the rampant poaching in the areas. HT had on January 8 reported that the pictures from the phone of one of the accused hinted at the involvement of the gang in the killing in Tulsi range of SGNP.

Forest officers from SGNP said they will question residents of tribal hamlets inside the national park. “We have asked our forest officers to get the exact global location inside Tulsi range where the fawn was killed. We will assist the ongoing investigation and look for other leads from within the park. Our officers are on high alert,” said Anwar Ahmed, director and chief conservator of forest, SGNP.

MK Rao, additional principal chief conservator of forest (west), state forest department, said, “We will take legal opinion and collate evidence collected by the Mumbai and Thane investigating officers to make our case stronger.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Borivli metropolitan magistrate court sent the six arrested accused to judicial custody for 14 days. They were taken to the central jail in Thane. The two others, who were arrested on Tuesday for setting up wire snares and selling the meat of the animals, will remain in the custody of the forest department until January 11.

“Based on all inputs received by our investigating team, a charge sheet will be prepared and submitted in court. We will fight for conviction of the accused,” said Rao. “While at least half the racket is busted, more leads are being investigated.”

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 01:14 IST

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