A high alert has been sounded at the Ranthambore national park by the forest department after threats of possible poaching. Forest guards, police and eco-development groups have all been alerted to maintain a strict vigil in and around the park.
Interestingly, the threats from poachers come at a time when the park does not have an officiating DFO. The former DFO of the reserve R S Shekhawat has been promoted and sent to the Sariska reserve and is holding additional charge while the new DFO R P Gupta is yet to assume charge. Gupta is likely to assume office later.
According to H M Bhatia, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan, "The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has received an email from Dharmendra Khandal warning of possible attempts by poachers from the Mongia tribe of entering the park. The NTCA alerted us after the receipt of the mail and we have increased our vigil in the reserve." Khandal is a conservation biologist of the Tiger Watch.
"There are a group of people from the Mongia tribe who have been killing wild boar around the tiger reserve and supplying its meat to Kota and other places. They have about 57 illegal guns and have been nesting here around the park. The threat lies from them," said Khandal.
"I had the information and passed it on to the forest department for action along with my name and phone number. It will require a dedicated group of people to initiate action against them and bring them to book. But sadly even after seven days no concrete action has been initiated," he added Though no additional force has been deputed for the park, but the existing forest guards have been put on high alert. They have been asked to maintain a round-the-clock vigil in the park and stay in touch over wireless."Even the eco-development groups have been asked to report any suspicious activity or person in the park," Bhatia said.
The forest department has sought the help of the police. More....