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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

5 poachers arrested, says forest official

TNN | Dec 11, 2012, 04.44 AM IST JABALPUR/BHOPAL: In November a tigress was electrocuted to death in Barhi forest area of Katni district after it came in contact with the electric trap connected to an 11-KV high tension line in Kitholi range, located 2 km away from the Bandhavgarh National Park. So similarity in the modus operendi , experts say, portends a grim trend. Interestingly, following the casual approach of the minister, forest officials also seem to be interested more in a cover up exercise. The conservator of forest R P S Baghel claimed that the trap was not meant for the tiger but for deers or wild boar, therefore the death could be accidental. Five poachers from the surrounding area have been arrested within 48 hours after the incident was reported from Amlihea village in Gungudi range on Sunday evening around 8.30 pm, he said and added that the tiger hide, buried in the jungle, has also been recovered from them." Those arrested were identified as Ram Singh, Ram Milan, Rajan, Raju and Sukh Sen - all residents of Dhorai village, 60 km from the district headquarters. Weapons including knives, axe, and GI wire were also recovered from the accused. The poachers used a wire from 440 KV service line attaching it to a wooden pole about 300 meters inside the forest, he said. Activist Ajay Dubey squarely blamed Sartaj Singh for his inability to fix accountability for growing unnatural deaths of tigers in MP.

Poachers kill tiger near Bandhavgarh reserve

By Manjari Mishra & P Naveen, TNN | Dec 11, 2012, 04.50 AM IST JABALPUR/BHOPAL: In the third incident of poaching reported since last November, a partly decomposed and skinned carcass of a tiger was found in the forest area of Umaria approximately 25 kilometers away from Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. Killed on the intervening night of December 7 and 8, the big cat fell into an electrical trap - a GI wire from the 440 KV service line pegged to a wooden pole. And even as wildlife activists are up in arms against the total failure to curb the rising cases of tiger killings in the state, forest minister Sartaj Singh plays cool and underplays the issue. Talking to TOI on Monday, Singh listed the arrest of five suspects by the police as a major achievement, which should instead be highlighted. The arrests have been made only because the forest department is alert, he declared. "Anyway keeping a constant vigil on the tiger's movement is impossible for who knows where the animal will go and when. (sher kahan khan jaata a hai yeh hum kaise jaan sakte hain). Similarly, how does one guess where the poachers have laid traps? The jungle is so vast. Crimes happen no one can predict or preempt the crime an annoyed minister imperiously announced. You must note, he said that we have been able to catch the culprit the same day and sized the stuff."

Public Accounts Committee on a 2-day visit to Tadoba

TNN | Dec 11, 2012, 06.43 AM IST NAGPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Maharashtra legislature will be on a two-day visit to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) on December 14 and 15. The committee, headed by Pune MLA Girish Bapat, will consist of 25 MLAs and two officials. The basic function of the committee is to do an audit of income and expenditure. The committee chairman has a minister of state status. Sources said this will be perhaps the maiden visit of the PAC to Tadoba. Conservationists asked whether the committee really has something to do with an audit inside the park or is it on sightseeing tour. During the recent years, regular sightings of tigers in the TATR have attracted many visitors including several VIPs to the park in Chandrapur district. As per the latest tiger estimation, TATR and its buffer have 65 recorded tigers. When contacted, Virendra Tiwari, field director and chief conservator of forests (CCF) of TATR, confirmed PAC's visit to Tadoba for audit purpose.