BHOPAL: A forest ranger with the anti-poaching squad of Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) and a forest guard were murdered at a government accommodation in the reserve on Friday. Ranger Jawan Singh Rathore, 52, and guard Pattu, 40, were found sprawled on the floor with their throats slit.
Police don't rule out role of poachers in the twin murder.
While body of Rathore was found in the washroom of his official quarter at Hinauta village, the guard's body was found on the terrace of the same house in the tiger reserve. A clerk with forest department alerted police at 1 pm went he came to meet the ranger for official work. The front doors of the house were open.
"The clerk spotted the ranger lying in a pool of blood and it was then that police swung into action," said Pankaj Srivastava, IG Sagar Range, told TOI. After initial investigation, police ruled out possibility of a robbery or loot bid.
"All his belongings, including Rs 70,000 in cash kept in a bag were found intact. There were no signs of rummaging at the crime site. Investigations are being done from different angles. Role of poachers is being probed. We are trying to find out if the ranger was investigating a poaching case or had enmity with those involved in wildlife crime," IG said.
Forensic officials, who inspected the crime spot said the guard was murdered in sleep while the ranger was chased and killed. "The guard's body was found on the cot he was sleeping and the ranger inside the washroom. The killers snuffed out both lives by slitting throats," said a forensic officer.
PTR officials claim Rathore was a good human being and it's unlikely that he had enmity with anyone. "After his meal, Rathore had gone to meet the mahouts at around 10.30 pm and returned after an hour. I don't think poachers are involved," R Krishna Murthy, PTR director told TOI. He was on deputation in NVDA and had joined PTR in March, he said.