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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Suspicious visitor turns out to be ex-sarpanch

TNN | May 16, 2012, 02.35AM IST CHANDRAPUR: The high alert declared following alleged intrusion of two turbaned persons inside Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve on Monday has reportedly turned out to be a false alarm. The accused identified as Kamaljeet Singh and his aide was picked up during wee hours of Tuesday from Wahangaon village in Chimur tehsil. Forest officials had detained him on Tuesday for questioning. He was detained aty the TAAR Primary investigations have revealed that Kamaljeet is ex-sarpanch of Wahangaon and had no malicious intension in visiting TATR. Panic button was pressed and high alert was declared in TATR and nearby areas after some NGO activists visiting tiger reserve filed a complaint claiming suspicious movement of two bike-borne turbaned persons in Pandharpauni area on Monday morning. Kamaljeet had sought entry into TATR with his in-law Bhupendra Singh to visit Vitthal Masram in Palasgaon inside the tiger reserve in the afternoon. However, a tourist connected to an NGO intercepted them in Pandharpauni area. He first complained to the local forest guard, who in turn searched Kamaljeet and his aide, but couldn't find anything suspicious. Later the guard called the Khatoda gate and asked whether Kamaljeet has been authorized to enter the tiger reserve. After the gate keeper confirmed Kamaljeet having registered his name as visitor, he allowed him to leave. The accused duo exited the tiger reserve from Navegaon gate. Not satisfied, the complainant tourist filed a complaint at Moharli gate, while leaving the tiger reserve. Senior forest officers, who are taking no risk since Palasgaon tiger poaching incident, moved into action on receipt of the complaint. Immediately an alert was declared and search operations were launched to trace Kamaljeet and his aide with the help of police. Forest officials took the statements of complainant tourist and the forest guard who interacted with Kamaljeet. Even the entire Pandharpauni area was searched for jaw traps suspecting the move as poaching attempt during the night. By late night, whereabouts of Kamaljeet was traced to Wahangaon falling under Shegaon police station. A team of foresters from TATR picked Kamaljeet Singh and his aide, reportedly identified as Bhupendra Singh, and took them into their custody during wee hours of Tuesday. It is learnt that Kamaljeet Singh is ex-sarpanch and ex-president of tanta mukti samiti of village and has close connections with local MLA. However, he had been reported to be involved in some forest related crimes few years back. CCF of TATR Vinaykumar Sinha and other officials could not be reached on phone for their comment on matter.

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