Bhubaneswar: Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Pradip Amat on Monday said strong action will be taken against the persons including officials involved in alleged poaching of a wild tusker in the Similipal tiger reserve.
As per reports, it was alleged that some of the forest staff burnt an elephant and threw the charred remains to a nearby stream to destroy the evidence after poachers killed the jumbo and removed its tusks in the core area of the tiger reserve.
Talking media persons here, Amat said: “Investigation is going on and we have asked to complete it soon. Either any senior officer or any Class IV employee, whoever is involved in the crime, strong action will be taken.”
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), wildlife, Sushil Kumar Popli said the Similipal field director had received an anonymous call that such an incident had happened.
“After receiving the allegation, we have scanned the entire Janabil forest area involving officials from north and south divisions of Similipal. We had not received any direct evidence. However, during interrogation of forest staff of Jenabil, we got some clues and later, found small-sized bones from a nearby waterfall.”
He said the bones collected from the spot have been sent to the Centre for Wildlife Health at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) Bhubaneswar for examination.
“As per preliminary investigation, we have suspended three forest officials. After getting proper evidence, we will lodge a criminal case under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act,” Popli said.
Besides, the joint task force has been sent to the Jashipur area in Similipal to further investigate the case, he added.