Environmentalist seeks permission to prosecute three forest officers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 May 2018 11:32:52



Staff Reporter


An environmentalist has sought permission to prosecute three Forest Department officers for catching Sonu, a wild elephant, from Achanakmar Tiger Reserve (ATR) and keeping him in captivity.In a letter to the Personnel Public Grievances and Pension Ministry, Environmentalist Nitin Singhvi stated a prior permission is need under Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code from the concerned department. In addition, a 60-day notice under provisions of Section 55 of Protection of Wildlife act 1972, which has a provision that any person wants to file a case under forest crimes has to give a 60-day notice to Central or State Government.

It is to be noted here that erstwhile Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) ChhattisgarhBN Dwivedi through an ordered dated October 20, 2018 had directed for capturing a Tusker roaming in ATR and releasing him back to the wild after medical check-up. ATR had Director Tapesh Jha and Deputy Director V Matheshwarn at the time of incident. After capturing the elephant, Forest Department kept him at ATR and named Sonu. The Tusker was subjected extreme cruelty. His legs sustained pestering wounds from the spiked shackles tied to them with hardly any space to move.

Singhvi had once again filed another petition in the High Court, which ordered Forest Department for the treatment of Sonu. Thereafter, team of veterinarians from Animal Welfare Board of India had administered treatment to Sonu. Terming it an act of breech of Protection of Animals from Atrocities and Wildlife Protection act, Animal Welfare Board of India had recommended stern actions against the persons responsible and releasing the Sonu back in natural habitat, but the Forest Department didn’t take any step in this regard.Despite the recommendation of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Forest Department hasn’t taken any punitive measure against the responsible officers.
Environmentalist demanded punishment for the culprits so as no one repeats the incident in future that flouts the Wildlife Protection Act.

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she finally resorted to lodge a police complaint in the matter. On complaint, the police have registered the offence against the accused under section 67 of Information and Technology Act. The police were further investigating the matter. While confirming details, Jagdish Mishra, Station House Officer, Purani Bhilai Police Station informed that on basis of complaint the police would act in the matter and the legal action would be initiated against the accused in the course of investigation.