By Mazhar Ali
Chandrapur: Forest officials investigating into tigress poaching case in Mul range have made two more arrests and recovered two nails of the poached feline. Forest officials of Chandrapur forest division (territorial) had busted a case of tigress poaching carried out in buffer zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve on Monday and had arrested three poachers with some body parts of the tigress.
Investigation officer, RFO AM Pathan informed that Raju Gergelwar and Mukund Todase were arrested during late night raids on Monday. Duo had procured nails and whiskers of tigress from the poachers. Forest officials have seized two nails from the possession of Raju Gergelwar, while Todase had reportedly sold his booty to some other person.
Meanwhile, three poachers namely Dilip Madavi, Ramprasad Gurnule and Vinayak Mallerwar along with Gergelwar and Todase were produced before JMFC court on Tuesday. Court sent them into the forest custody remand (FCR) till April 10. Manhunt is underway for other procurers of body parts tigress and half a dozen more arrests are likely to be made soon.
Meanwhile, Chandrapur forest division has started the process of handing over the investigation to TATR buffer authorities, as the poaching was carried out in buffer zone. Authorities will also send the samples recovered body parts of tigress to Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad for DNA analysis.
The poaching of tigress in protected forest in buffer area has exposed serious lacuna in the monitoring of tigers in TATR. Every tiger in TATR is numbered (named) and monitored for its movements and kills. Wildlife activist have asked how did the disappearance of full grown tigress from a particular territory for six months went unnoticed.