February 14, 2009 3:06:33 am
The Forest Department has suspended a Deputy Forest Ranger for poaching of migratory birds around the sanctuary area in Pong Wetland of Kangra district,that hosts the highest number of migratory birds in Himachal during winter.
Deputy Forest Ranger Desraj was reportedly caught red-handed while shooting two bar-headed geese in the sanctuary. The Wildlife Wing of the Forest Department registered an FIR into the incident at Haripur police station in Kangra,confirmed Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Samer Rastogi. The weapon of crime was also seized from Desraj.
The suspended official belongs to territorial wing of the forest. Further action shall be taken against him by the police,said Conservator of Forest (Territorial) at Dharamshala ARM Reddy. The information that the deputy ranger is involved in poaching in the sanctuary area is enough for us to initiate departmental action. The criminal proceedings shall be followed up by the wildlife wing,said Reddy.
Station House Officer at Haripur Police Station Somnath said that though the case has been registered here,the Wildlife Wing will do the investigation and take appropriate action.
In January,20 migratory birds,including 18 bar headed geese and two rudy shell ducks were found dead at Pong Wetland. They seemed to have been fed some poisonous substance. Samples of the feed were also found at the watch tower where the dead birds were spotted during a patrol. The reason for their death has not been established yet.
The Wildlife Department had registered an FIR into the matter at Jawali police station in Kangra. Pong Wetland is situated under Nagrota Surian in Kangra district. A survey by the Forest Department this year revealed that over one lakh migratory birds come to the site.
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