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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Palamu Tiger Reserve officials upset with CRPF misdemeanour

TNN | May 10, 2012, 03.20AM IST DALTONGANJ: Tiger trackers in Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) are scared of moving around freely following harassment meted out to one of them, by the central paramilitary force. The CRPF is presently carrying out phase two of operation 'Octopus' against the Maoists in the PTR According to tiger tracker Hikmat Singh (35), security forces stopped him when he was on his way to work at Toungaree village under Garu West range of PTR on sunday suspecting him to be a Maoist. Singh said that despite showing his departmental identity card, tiger trapping camera and two SIM cards and cell phones, the security forces paid no heed to his words and slapped him twice for carrying a cell phone in the jungle! "The security forces forced another tracker Pooshan Singh to say that he works as a tiger tracker in the day but at night he work for the naxalites," he said, asserting that most people in the forest do whatever the security men dictate them. However, Singh's ordeal did not end here. The security forces took him down to their base camp and quizzed him there. Finally mukhiya Manju Devi was called in by the security forces who managed to free him from the clutches of the security personnel. Singh said his tiger trapping camera, identity card, cap, tiffin box, two Sim cards, cell phone and one 'gamchee' (towel) are still in the possession of the security forces. PTR field director SHE Kazmi said Singh's ordeal is concerning and the security forces should try to understand the circumstances under which these trackers work. When Hikmat Singh had shown his departmental identity card, tiger trapping camera etc the security forces should have cross checked it with other forest officials, he said. DIG CRPF B K Sharma said presence of any person in jungle with two Sim cards, cell phone arouses suspicion and if in such a situation, a person is quizzed one should not take it otherwise. But when asked about seizure of tiger trapping camera, tiffin box, cell phone, identity card and other belongings by the security forces, Sharma assured to look into the matter.

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