May 7, 2018 3:29:15 am
A chinkara or Indian gazelle was shot dead by poachers at Bhad village near Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary in Gir (East) forest division of Amreli district in the wee hours of Sunday. The poachers, however, managed to flee, leaving behind the chinkara’s body, sources said.
Forest officers said that they were camping at Bhad, a village in Khambha taluka, on Saturday night after getting a tip-off of three poachers planning to hunt Indian gazelles in the area.
Early Sunday morning, forest officials heard gunshots and they rushed in the direction of the sound. Forest Range Officer Kapil Bhatiya fired two rounds of fire in the air from his service revolver and asked the poachers to surrender. However, the poachers managed to run away. Later, forest officials launched a combing operation in the area which continued till around 4 am on Sunday. During the combing, a man was arrested. Later, they recovered a firearm allegedly used in the hunting, sources said.
Popularly called chinkara, Indian gazelle has been put in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and thus enjoys the highest legal protection in the country. It’s hunting can result into seven years of imprisonment and fine.
Forest officers said that an offence has been registered against three unidentified men at Khambha range forest office for allegedly hunting the Indian gazelle. “We have also arrested one person and further investigation is on,” Aniruddha Pratap Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests of Junagadh Wildlife Circle told The Indian Express.
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