By Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: Officials investigating the poaching of a tiger in Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary in May this year have filed the chargesheet against accused Ajit Chhiyayal Rajgond and Rauna.
Three accused - Saranki, Ajit and Rauna - were arrested by forest officials in a tiger poaching case. A charge sheet has already been filed in Umred court against Saranki. It was filed on December 26, just four days ahead of the stipulated time of 60 days.
Even before the charge sheet could be filed, both Rauna and Ajit had applied for bail on December 4 and 17, respectively. Rauna was arrested on October 27 from Raipur in Odisha while Ajit was dramatically nabbed from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on October 28.
Special counsel for the forest department Kartik Shukul and counsel for accused Aniruddha Jaltare argued on the bail application on December 24. The court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) V L Bhosale finally rejected the bail plea for the accused duo.
Ajit is a notorious tiger poacher, who was expert not only in laying traps but also killing a tiger by piercing spear in its mouth. Saranki and Rauna acted as helpers and they were involved in skinning the tigers after it was killed.
The bail of Ajit was rejected on prior conduct and his likelihood of absconding, besides that one of the two metal traps he used to kill the tiger is yet to be recovered. The forest department argued that if the accused are released on bail they will tamper with the evidence.
Ajit was also involved in a wildlife crime case in Chandrapur and an offence has been registered against him at Ramnagar police station. However, he was on the run for the past two years after getting bail on November 26, 2011.
The court was told that the Umred tiger case will also meet the same fate if Ajit is released on bail. Finally, the court rejected his bail application.
However, forest department sources said now that a charge sheet against both Ajit and Rauna has been filed, both are likely to file a fresh bail application in the same court.