Sunday, November 04, 2007

15 months after (Asiatic) Lion's death, 1 held


15 months after (Asiatic) Lion’s death, 1 held

Indian Express By Sibte Husain Bukhari

Junagadh, November 1 Fifteen months after a lion’s carcass was tied with a big stone and thrown into Vrijmi dam near Dhari in Amreli district, forest officials have arrested one person in the case. The lion had died after coming in contact with an electrified fence and the person responsible for it had thrown its carcass in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

On October 19 this year, five lions were electrocuted on the outskirts of Prempara village near Dhari under Gir East Forest Division.

The court has permitted the Forest Department to subject the accused to narco analysis to ascertain the truth.

According to details, the carcass of a lion was found floating in the waters of Vrijmi dam on the outskirts of Amrapur (Gir) village in Malia-Hatine taluka of Junagadh district in July last year. Though officials suspected foul play in the incident, they could not ascertain the exact reason behind the death,

In the 15 months of investigations in the case, officials said there are at least six people — all family members of Amrapur’s woman sarpanch—¿ involved in the crime.

Range Forest Officer (Malia-Hatina) L V Chavda said while one person had been arrested, they were looking for the other five.

According to Chavda, the accused have been identified as Daya Lakhman, Manji Lakha, his brothers Rava and Dhiru, and two sons Sanjay and Bhikha.

Only Daya Lakhman has been arrested and booked under Rule 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

While Lakhman confessed to the crime, he also revealed the names of the other accused.

According to sources, the accused persons are family members of sarpanch Kanchanben, who is the wife of prime accused Manji Lakha. Manji is also an elected member of Malia-Hatina taluka panchayat. “Five accused are still at large, but we will nab them within a day or two,” Chavda added.

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