The Gujarat government on Friday ordered a high-level investigation into the killing of a sloth bear, suspected to have mauled to death a forester and two others, at Banaskantha’s Balaram-Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary recently by a team of forest and police officials. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered constitution of a three-member committee to inquire into the entire episode and submit its report within 30 days.
A release from the Chief Minister’s Office stated the three officers in the panel were retired principal chief conservator of forest S C Pant, additional principal chief conservator of forest Akshay Saxena and chief conservator of forest (Vadodara) Ram Kumar.
“The panel has been asked to inquire into the entire episode on range of issues, including why did the bear became offensive and attacked humans,” a source said.
On March 15, the bear was killed by a team of police and forest officials using AK 47 rifles after they got order from “top level, including the forest ministry, to kill the animal as it had killed three persons.” As many as 67 rounds were fired at the lactating female sloth bear after attempts by the team to “capture it failed”.