Tuesday 24 November 2015

INDIA: Poaching Racket Busted Outside Nagzira In India

At a time when chief minister DevendraFadnavis is promoting community conservancy through people's participation, a major poaching racket has been exposed outside Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) on Sunday.

The foresters have nabbed a tribal, Faggu Hariram Kumre (47), a resident of Chorkhamara village which shares common boundary with Nagzira. Though investigations are underway, it is feared that large-scale poaching of wild animals with live wire traps has been going on for years together.

The matter came to light when honorary wildlife warden of Gondia, Sawan Bahekar, and his team were monitoring a tigress from New Nagzira. They came in contact with electric wires laid near fields in Chorkhamara area six days back.

The team sought intervention of Gondia deputy conservator of forest (DyCF) Jitendra Ramgaonkar and NNTR DFO Ashok Khune. The team demanded deployment of impartial forest guards as raids conducted with the posted guards had failed in the past after tip-off to poachers.

On Saturday, the teams led by Bahekar and forest guards kept watch throughout the night at three spots where live wire traps were laid. During the raid, they found two dead nilgais and old carcasses of wild boars. Kumre was caught while he was checking the traps.

An offence has been registered against Kumre. However, sources said there are two more gangs from Chorkhamara involved in similar poaching of animals. "It seems as there is no monitoring and action by Tiroda range officials, poachers have grown in confidence. It is feared that over 150 wild animals must have been poached by these three gangs from Chorkhamara," senior officials said.

"When an RFO pays Rs20-30 lakh for posting in territorial areas what results can you expect. The community conservancy model seems to be sham," they said.

They said poaching is going on despite the village earning lakhs from tourism money.

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