A day after a striped hyena was allegedly beaten to death, four residents of Kalana village of Ahmedabad’s Sanand taluka were arrested and a juvenile detained by the state forest department on Friday. A local court remanded the adults to 14 days judicial custody.
“We have held five persons in connection with the case and further investigation is going on,” Sakkira Begaum, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) of Ahmedabad social forestry division said. The accused were identified as Yasinkhan Pathan (35), Akramkhan Pathan (35), Rashidkhan Pathan (34), Amirkhan Pathan (18) and the juvenile boy, all residents of Kalana.
An offence has been registered at the Sanand range forest office against the accused under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. “The accused were produced in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) of Sanand on Friday evening and the court remanded the four men to judicial custody,” a senior forest officer said.
A group of villagers had allegedly beaten a striped hyena to death with sticks on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday. Later the mob allegedly tied its carcass to an electrical pole and set it on fire. After a purported video and photographs of the incident went viral on social media, a team of the social forestry division of Ahmedabad had rushed to the village and recovered its partially burnt carcass on Thursday.
Bashir Khan, husband of Kalana village sarpanch Raziyabibi said, “I was in Ahmedabad as my elder brother has tested positive for Covid-19 and was not aware as to what had happened until forest officers rang me up. But as a matter of fact, no resident of the village has ever reported presence of this animal here,” he said.
Hyenas are included on Schedule-III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Its hunting entails jail term up to three years and fine up Rs 25,000 or both.