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Top Ranthambhore Officials Removed


Indian Express
Monday, November 21, 2005


Tigers: Action follows Express report on Park killings
JAY MAZOOMDAAR

NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 20: Taking note of The Sunday Express report on the killing on tigers inside Ranthambhore National Park, the Rajasthan government today transferred the two top forest officials of the Park.

Conservator of Forest Shafat Hussein and deputy field director G S Bhardwaj have been asked to relinquish charge with immediate effect. "Both officials have been put on APO (Awaiting Posting Order). The CM is keen to fix accountability and has signed the order on a Sunday," Rajasthan Chief Wildlife Warden R N Mehrotra told The Indian Express. While R S Shekawat will immediately take charge as DFO, the new Conservator may be named tomorrow.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has also convened a high-level meeting tomorrow to discuss the crisis. The Sunday Express reported how three poachers had confessed to killing 10 Ranthambhore tigers since 2003 and named another seven who had taken out at least a dozen more.

"We will work in close coordination with the police department and, like we have done in Sariska, hope to bust the entire racket here very soon," Mehrotra said. Meanwhile, a joint team of CID crime branch, Kota (Rural) police and Sawai Madhopur police raided villages around the Park in search of suspects named by poachers in custody.
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