By Vijay Pinjarkar
The tiger poaching case turned messy on Wednesday after the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) expressed displeasure over the lack of progress in investigations and said it would be difficult to extend custody of the accused. It has asked the forest department to give its say on July 20.
Although the magisterial custody (MCR) of tiger poachers Siri, Lizalen alias Yarlen and Kashish alias Barsul -- all belonging to the Baheliya community from Katni in Madhya Pradesh -- was extended till July 30, their lawyer filed an application seeking bail. While Siri was operating in Melghat, the other two poachers were handed over by the MP officials.
The lackadaisical attitude of the investigating officials came to fore when forest officials were not even present in the court with a lawyer. Help from a government pleader was taken and he sought time from the court.
Bail application of the other two poachers Mamru and Chika, arrested from Mansar on June 6, will also come up for hearing, it was learnt. Both are under magisterial custody till July 30.
If the forest department fails to act, the poachers are likely to walk out on bail and keeping the lid on a big exposure of poaching cases. The case has already been messed up due to reluctance of Melghat wildlife officials and Amravati territorial officials in taking over the investigations, especially when poachers went on record to say they killed a tiger in Melghat and Akot too. In their statement, Yarlen and Mamru admitted to have sold the skin of tiger killed in Akot to Ranjit Singh from Haryana, who is wanted in poaching of tiger in Dhakna in Melghat. More....