By Ranjeet Jadhav
Park authorities found two men hiding inside a nullah; they arrested one and recovered double barrel gun and 12 live rounds from him, while the other fled.
A poacher, who had camouflaged himself as foliage, was arrested from the Nagla area in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), Borivli by members of the forest department on Wednesday evening.
The poacher was found after forest department officials received a tip-off on poachers in the Nagla area killing animals. Reacting on the tip-off, officials, including the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) P D Rajput, carried out a search operation on Wednesday evening in the core forest area around Nagla, in the Yeoor range.
Speaking about the search, Rajput said, “We stopped at a nullah that was close to a water source. Upon investigation, we found two men hiding inside. One of them who was in his late 20s fled. However, we were able to nab the other, who we later identified as Shankar Patil.”
Officials also recovered a double barrel gun and 12 bullets from him. Additionally, he had a small pointed weapon, which according to authorities, he might have used to chop the body of the animals. Officials said that Patil, a resident of Ovala village near Yeoor, was camping out in the area and even found a mosquito net at the spot of his arrest. The accused was produced in court last evening and was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and was remanded to police custody.
Speaking to MiD DAY, wildlife expert Krishna Tiwari said, “Small-scale poaching activities in the northern part of SGNP cannot be denied. The forest department should increase their vigil in the area so that such instances can be avoided.”