By D.S. Kunwar
A joint team of the Special Operation Group (SOG) and the Special Task Force (STF) on Friday arrested six members of a gang of suspected poachers after raids in the Corbett National Park landscape under the Ramnagar forest division. The gang is thought to be responsible for Thursday's killing of a six-year-old tiger near Choi village in Nainital district.
The raids had followed a tip-off that the gang members were hiding near Choi. An STF officer said the suspected poachers had been operating in the region for the past four months.
An IPS officer told TOI that the arrested men were taken inside the forest for their interrogation in connection with the recent poaching. "Since these poachers had used firearms and sharp-edged weapons in poaching the tiger, we hope to recover these weapons from there after the interrogation is over," said the officer. He said cases would be registered against the six men after their interrogation.
An Uttarakhand STF officer said the government had entrusted the responsibility of nabbing poachers to the joint SOG and STF team since it was upset over the way state forest department officials had virtually failed in protecting tigers and other endangered species.