By Vimal Bhatia
A team of forest officials on Thursday arrested three members of a poaching gang active in hunting the Great Indian Bustard(GIB) in Srianganagar area. The GIB is on the verge of extinction and is the state bird of Rajasthan.
A four-wheeler (gypsy) and cartridges used for hunting have also been seized. In December, some unidentified poachers had fired on two GIBs (known as godawan in local parlance) with the intention of killing them, but one escaped while the other died in Sudasari area in Jaisalmer. The poachers managed to run away with the dead bird. Since then the forest dept team were trying to nab the poachers.
Chief conservator of forests Govind Sagar Bhardwaj said after poaching of godawan in Jaisalmer, the forest department was trying to catch hold of the hunters. The records of old poachers were being searched and based on secret information, old photographs of a few poachers were received which were clicked with the dead godawan bird.
He said that based on old photographs, the poachers were identified and on Thursday with the help of local police, three poachers were caught in Sriganganagar, who have been identified as Abhayjeet Singh, Bhajan Singh and Seta Ram. They have been arrested under wildlife act and are being interrogated.
Bhardwaj said that in the initial inquiry, it has come to light that they were killing godawan and houbara birds. Efforts are being made to ensure that such incidents do not take place in future. The intelligence system is being strengthened along with the network system. Patrolling is being increased. All efforts would be made to protect the rare wildlife including godawan, said forest officials.