By Anuraag Singh
INDORE: City police and state forest department arrested five men in a joint operation for allegedly poaching the national bird peacock in Betma area on Indore's outskirts on Friday late night.
Acting on a specific tip off by the forest department, a police team led by Betma police station in-charge Kamal Jain raided vacant land behind Annapurna Cold Storage on Betma-Indore Road and nabbed the five men. Carcass of the peacock and a licensed single barrel gun used to kill the national bird were also recovered, along with a live cartridge.
The five men who were caught by the police were identified as Nazar Mohammad, 70, Ashiq Khan, 33, Shahid Khan, 45, Mohd Kalam, 18 and Mohd Sohail, 19. They belonged to Betma, Indore and Mhow, said the Betma police station in-charge Kamal Jain on Saturday.
"We handed over the five men, the peacock carcass, the single barrel gun and two motorbikes to the forest department team for further action," added Jain.
Confirming the alleged poaching of the national bird, the forest department sub divisional officer RN Saxena told TOI that the five men have been arrested and booked under Sections 2, 3, 39 and 51 of The Wildlife Protection Act 1974. "We'll produce them before court later in the day to get their remand for detailed questioning," added Saxena.
According to Saxena, the five men were caught when they were planning to cook peacock meat while chapatis were ready for a late night party.
It's the second case of poaching of peacock in the last three weeks in Indore, as just 20 days back, the police had arrested a poultry farm owner for poaching a peacock in Lasudiya area of the city.