CHANDRAPUR: Forest officials on Monday nabbed four for poaching a leopardess in the Porla range of Armori tehsil, in Gadchiroli. The three-year-old leopardess was gunned down by the gang of Sikalsar poachers in the hilly area near village Suryadongri on Saturday.
The poachers gang lurking in the forest had shot the leopardess with manually loading (Bharmar) gun. "Foresters holding a meeting with village protection committee of Suryadongri rushed to nearby jungle on hearing gun shots and discovered the bullet ridden dead body of leopardess in compartment no. 11. They also spotted a gang of five to six people fleeing and pursued them. But the poachers managed to flee. Four bullets were recovered from the leopardess' body during the postmortem," informed SG Kaidalwar, RFO, Porla.
On the basis of description given by the witnesses, forest officials, led by ACF, Wadsa, DP Deshmukh, rounded up a dozen of suspects from village Injewari (Tukumpeth). The suspects were grilled. And one of them, involved in the poaching, finally confessed to the crime late on Sunday. While the other suspects were subsequently released, those named by the accused poacher were rounded up from the Injewari in a raid carried out on Monday.
"We have so far arrested four poachers from village Injewari. They have all confessed to killing the leopardess with the help of Bharmar gun. However, few more members of the gang are still at large and the gun used to poach the big cat has been seized. We have the names of remaining accused involved in poaching and will be arrested soon," Kaidalwar added.
Offence under relevant sections of Indian Forest Act- 1927 and Wildlife Protection Act - 1972 has been registered against the poachers. Kaidalwar, however, refused to reveal the names of the arrested accused till their absconding accomplice were not arrested. After the firearm used for the poaching is recovered, accused poachers will be handed over to cops for further action. as authority of prosecution under Indian Firearms Act rests with police department, he added.
NB-RFO Kaidalwar has assured to give the names of accused by 8 pm. Photos of killed leopardess too is expected from him later in the night.