Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ten days after killings, probe in CID hands

Sibte Husain Bukhari

Ahmedabad Newsline, Net Edition  Date: March 10, 2007


Junagadh, March 10: Ten days after the poaching incident in Gir sanctuary, which claimed the lives of three lions, the investigation has been handed over to CID (Crime) on Saturday. The probe by Forest Department officials here yielded nothing concrete forcing them to concede that the perpetrators were too “clever as they did not leave behind any clue”.


When contacted Principal Secretary (Forest and Environment) P N Roychaudhary said, “Police are specialised in handling criminal investigation, and because the culprits were too smart it needed expert hands and so the probe has been handed over to the police department.”


“Our department has expertise in forest related issues like conservation of forest, environment, wildlife and its requirement and so on. We know to do these jobs. However, we aren’t experts in criminal investigation and this requires such expertise,” he said.


On the findings of the dog squad and FSL report, Roychaudhary said, “No fire arms were used in committing this crime according to FSL findings. Beside, dog squad stopped at two different places on road, which clearly indicates the exact distance between two vehicles.”


The culprits, he said, came in two or more vehicles, stayed in forest for reasonable time (more then six hours), deftly completed their work and disappeared from scene.


According to Roychaudhary, it was a professional job with possibility of international gang involved. He added that there was possibility that the crime was organised with local help. He added that though locals may not have been directly involved, they may have provided logistic support.


Roychaudhary said that bones of three big cats weigh not less than120 kg. These, he said,

“Locals clearly know lion behavior and their location but we need concrete proof and solid evidence. To get to the bottom of the crime, we need people’s support . Those who have any information should contact us,” he said.

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