|Here's why govt fears CBI probe into Panna
P Naveen, DNA
18 September, 2011
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.
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.
'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.