By Vijay Pinjarkar
The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail application of the five Chandrapur constables wanted in connection with the poaching of monitor lizard, which is listed under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Earlier, a similar application filed by them before sessions court was also rejected.
When the bail application came up for hearing before Justice ML Tahilyani on Friday, government pleader Nitin Sambre, arguing on behalf of the forest department, strongly opposed it.
Though forest department has submitted a report to the Chandrapur superintendent of police (SP) Rajiv Jain against five accused constables namely Arun Bhaskarkar, Suresh Satpute, Pramod Dhongre, Vitthal Deshmukh and Gulab Poyam, connected to the traffic branch, there is no action. All the accused constables are absconding since July 1, and are also not reporting on duty.
The policemen were caught red-handed at Gajanan Bhojnalay while consuming monitor lizard's meat they had brought to cook at the hotel. Forest officials had confiscated 2kg of monitor lizard's meat from the kitchen where it was being cooked for them. Owner of the eatery Arun Mahadole is still under MCR.
The constables continue to defy summons of forest department. However, forest officials who had decided to seek non-bailable warrants against them have not done so far. Their request with senior cops to ask the constables for investigation has not been heeded to.
Traffic PI Pundalik Sapkale admitted that the five constables were absconding from duty since 26 days. "I've already reported this to the seniors and they have to take a call. We have also pasted notices on their homes as they are missing," Sapkale said. More....