Saturday, March 29, 2008

Poachers admit to killing a Chinkara on Holi.

Posted online: Friday , March 28, 2008 at 03:20:18
Updated: Friday , March 28, 2008 at 03:20:18
Junagadh, March 27

The sudden spurt in poaching incidents in the Gir forests has left its wild animals vulnerable once again. About half a dozen poaching incidents have been reported from these forests in the last two months. What is more shocking is the involvement of local poachers.
Four poachers who had been arrested recently, on Wednesday, confessed to having killed a Chinkara.

On March 21, two persons identified as Ravi Bala and Mera Virji, members of the Devipoojak community, had allegedly hunted a Chinkara on the outskirts of Samadhiyala village, that falls under Jashadhar forest range in Gir east forest division . Acting on tip-off, the forest officials had rushed to the spot and found evidence related to poaching like blood spots and blood stained stones .

The officials nabbed Bala and Virji. The accused confessed to their crime during investigation. Two other persons have also been arrested in this regard. The accused have been booked under various provision of the Wildlife (protection) Act 1972, Amendment Act 2003 and 2006. They were produced before the court of the Judicial Magistrate (first class) of Kodinar on Thursday, which had earlier ordered a two-day remand for the accused.

The deputy conservator of forest (Gir east), J S Solanki, said, "Our prime concern is to ensure that they stay behind bars, and do not get bail. They have confessed to having hunted deer during Holi," Solanki said.

Meanwhile carcasses of eight peacocks including six peahens were recovered on Wednesday from a dry river stream on the outskirts of Sukhpur village in Visavadar taluka. Foresters from the Visavadar forest range took the carcasses for a post-mortem examination. The deputy conservator of forest (Gir west) B P Pati said that consumption of poisonous substances caused the death. Officials said that the peacocks could have consumed wheat laced with pesticide.

Pati said, "The actual cause of death would be ascertained only after receiving the FSL report. We have dispatched the viscera to FSL for a detailed clinical examination."


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