By Vijay Pinjarkar
Taking serious note of the TOI report on Thursday about suspected killing of 11 tigers in Vidarbha and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh in the last two months by organized poachers belonging to the notorious Baheliya community of Katni, the rattled National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) sought factual report from the PCCF (wildlife).
APCCF & acting chief wildlife warden VK Sinha said that although he has not received any letter from the NTCA, "member-secretary Rajesh Gopal and other officials talked to me over phone on Thursday".
"I've sent a report on Friday about what has happened. It's a routine thing and I will not comment on claims of 5-12 tigers being poached by different gangs. The matter is under investigation," Sinha said.
It is learnt that the report maintains confession by poachers about trading five of killed tigers. of names of poachers and their locations have also been sent to the NTCA.
As tiger killings have been reported from MP too, the NTCA feels the extent of poaching is enormous and is contemplating to set up a joint team of officials from Maharashtra and MP to probe the matter. An inquiry from CBI is also under consideration, although it will need a state government nod.
But, Kishor Rithe, member of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), has said that NTCA should accept moral responsibility of the poaching incidents as it is one of the parties to tripartite agreement signed by tiger reserves and state governments. More....