By Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: In what could be seen as strengthening the case against tiger poachers, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, has found the series of samples they were sent are of a tiger.
The CCMB, one of the premier institutes in the world that conducts research in frontier and multidisciplinary areas of modern biology, in its report issued on November 13, stated that the samples collected by Nagpur forest officials from Masondi in Ghatang range in East Melghat division have tested positive.
Mamru and Chika, the two poachers belonging to Baheliya community from Katni, who admitted to have killed a tiger in Masondi in May this year, were arrested near Mansar. They were taken to Masondi by a team of forest officials led by divisional forest officer (DFO) for vigilance P D Masram and others.
In June, both the poachers showed the spot from where the team collected samples of bloodstained soil, decomposed flesh, internal organs, hair and metal trap. These samples were sent to CCMB in June-July.
When contacted, CCMB principal scientist Karthikeyan Vasudevan confirmed that report of samples sent by Nagpur officials has been despatched. He refused to divulge the details.
Masram confirmed that his office has received the report 10-15 days back. "The results of the samples have tested positive and it will only strengthen our legal case against arrested poachers," he added.
The issue of lack of evidence in poaching cases was frequently highlighted during arguments by counsels of accused when they applied for bail, but special counsel for the forest department Kartik Shukul always argued that the department had substantial evidence about a tiger being poached. The facts will be clear once reports of samples are received from CCMB.
The CCMB findings are shot in the arm for the department and will be produced during the trial. Till now, at least 30 poachers have been arrested in at least 12 tiger poaching cases. Still, an equal number of poachers are at large.
* Tiger poachers Mamru and Chika had shown forest officials the spot where the duo had killed a tiger in Masondi
* The team had collected samples of bloodstained soil, decomposed flesh, internal organs, hair and metal trap
* These samples were sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad in June-July
* In its report issued on Nov 13, CCMB has found the series of samples to be of a tiger