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Here's why govt fears CBI probe into Panna

 

DNA
P Naveen, DNA

18 September, 2011

Bhopal: A confidential report by the field director of the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) indicates big cats in the sanctuary were wiped out because of a nexus between poachers and the forest staff.

Documents in possession of DNA reveal the forest top brass has been sitting idle on the highly confidential report submitted by field R Shreenivasa Murthy. The department has also ignored Murthy's suggestion that officials, including forest guards and field directors, be interrogated to crack open details of the nexus.

Murthy had also recommended constitution of 'Panna Tiger Reserve High Powered Special Investigation team' to investigate the poaching issues and the nexus, confidential documents accessed by activist Ajay Dubey reveal. "This is a clear cut case of fence-eating-the-crop syndrome and locals losing the heart of PTR," Murthy wrote in his report sent in January this year.

His 'top secret' letter addressed to Dr H S Pabla, chief wildlife warden, reads: "To ensure non-coercion or non- manipulation of independent witness(es) of the cases, it is recommended once again to post R T Sanago and R K Jaiswal (the then range officers of Chandra Nagar and Madla ranges of the reserve) far away from PTR, in the fartherest districts of Madhya Pradesh."

The PTR field director says the stretch between 2002-2007 was a 'turbulent period' for tigers and other wild animals. Big cats in the reserve were wiped out completely during this period. Though experts and wild-life activists have been seeking a CBI probe into the 'Panna debacle', the forest department and government have been rejecting the demand.


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