Divisional forest officer (DFO) SG Dhumal, investigating officer in the alleged Chinkara poaching case in which former minister Dharmarao Baba Atram and seven others are involved, testified in Saswad court on Saturday before judicial magistrate (first class) SA Pandagale.
The case involves killing of two chinkaras and a hare in a village in Bhor taluka on the night of June 14, 2008.
Dhumal, during his chief examination taken by additional public prosecutor Ramesh Ghorpade, said that Atram and his five accomplices were traced down and arrested on August 30, 2008, after burnt animal parts were found at a Panchgani farmhouse owned by Atram.
Atram and his accomplices Mahesh Biramane, Suresh Biramane, Sayyad Ali, Ravindra Wadkar and Ankush Sanas are facing charges under sections 9, 39,59,51 of Wildlife Protection Act. Following his arrest, then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had removed him from the state cabinet.
Dhumal, who’s investigating the case, was a sub-divisional forest officer at that time. He gave an account of the investigation done by him when he got the case.
He said that the police could reach the accused on the basis of villagers’ statements, the numbers of the poachers’ vehicles jotted down by them, and blood-stains at the spot of the killing. “The statements of Syed Ali and Ravi Saurabh helped the police make out how the poaching plans were made.”
Defence lawyers Vijay Nahar and SG Barve informed the court that information contained in the documents produced before the court by prosecution should not be recorded at this stage. The court was adjourned till September 7.