By Manoj Kar
Paradip, Jan. 19: The court of the first-class judicial magistrate in Kendrapara has sentenced two persons to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and imposed on them a fine of Rs 10,000 for poaching protected birds.
Kalipada Bachad and Manoranjan Mandal, both from Ramnagar village, had been arrested from within the protected areas of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary on December 5, 2011. Officials had seized from them meat of felled birds, nylon loops, nets and weapons used for hunting.
First-class judicial magistrate Amaresh Mahapatra pronounced both the accused guilty under various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Taking cognisance of circumstantial evidence and cross-examination of witnesses, the court convicted both of them, said prosecution counsel Saroj Kumar Jena.
Poachers turn active when thousands of migratory birds swoop down to spend winter in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika, a famous Ramsar wetland site. “The forest guards patrol the park and its nearby areas to prevent poaching. This year, not a single case of bird poaching has been reported,” said divisional forest officer Rajnagar Mangrove forest division Kedar Kumar Swain.