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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Six groups of poachers active in Corbett National Park: Activists

Dehradun/Nainital - Wildlife activists have raised fears about the presence of six distinct groups of poachers at work in the Corbett national park and its neighbouring forest divisions.
Responding to a letter written by the People For Animals, Uttarakhand member secretary Gauri Maulekhi, the member secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Rajesh Gopal has said that the authority will soon send its team to Uttarakhand to check the situation.
In the letter Maulekhi had stated that groups of poachers are active in Savaldeh area of Bijrani range, Corbett; Fato range of Terai West Division and the adjoining Amangarh area in UP; Sitabani and Kotabagh area; Khatima area and Kotdwar range.
The three poachers recently nabbed by the department are wanted in various cases but were not involved in the Bijrani incident reported on May 24.
The authorities seem to be diverting attention from the main culprits and focusing on nabbing individuals who may not have anything to do with the cases at hand. “Corbett warden UC Tiwari, who is responsible for the Bijrani, Dhikala and Sarpduli ranges, is responsible for the incident but has been able to cleverly exercise his influence over higher authorities to escape punishment.
He has not been posted out of this area for more than nine years now and was allegedly involved in running an illegal canteen in the Dhikala range which was busted by PFA in April last year.
He was himself appointed as an investigating officer in the case against himself and his range officer and the matter was closed without him being posted out or suspended,” said Maulekhi.
She further averred that yet again Tiwari escaped repercussions of his failure while junior staff has been attached to the director’s office after the Bijrani incident. Maulekhi has urged the NTCA to insist on cracking down on the real culprits who are carrying on with their business while the authorities are indulging in an eyewash investigation.