Thursday, May 3, 2018

Illegal entry in core area of Tiger reserve put 12 behind bars


PUNE: The state forest department has arrested 12 persons from Pune for allegedly entering the core area of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve without seeking prior permission from the government.

According to forest department officials, the group of 12 persons entered the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary on April 30 from Nandivase village in Chilplun. The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, is spread across Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts.

The group was allegedly going towards Jangli Jaygad Fort, located in the core area of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Assistant Conservator of Forest Suresh Salunkhe said, “Following information from our sources, we arrested them in Shirsenge, which is a restricted area. They were arrested under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. They were later released on bail by a court.”

Forest officials said most of the 12 persons arrested in the case are employees of an automobile company in Pune. The forest department has identified them as Tushar Nikam, Sachin Gaikwad, Bhalchandra Gosavi, Rakesh Dhimte, Mohan Chunde, V B Irakshetty, Abhijit Dhawale, Manish Kulkarni, Kiran Tavhre, Sandip Patil, Subhash Badhde and Sadanand Amrute.

Rohan Bhate, former honorary wildlife warden, said, “This is positive action by the forest department. Many people enter the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve area illegally from Konkan area. We have been giving information to forest officials… we also have inputs that poachers carrying guns come in to hunt wild animals. Forest officials should investigate these inputs thoroughly.”


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