DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered a CBI probe into the death of tigers at the Corbett Tiger Reserve over the past five years and alleged the involvement of forest officials in the poaching of big cats.
A Division Bench of the court comprising acting Chief Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lokpal Singh ordered an inquiry into the death of tigers in the park.
The court also asked the CBI to find out the involvement of forest officers in the poaching of tigers. “The matter shall be inquired into and investigated by the CBI and the preliminary report shall be submitted to this court, in a sealed cover, within three months,” the Division Bench maintained.
The CBI is free to take the services of its wildlife wing for the probe. The direction came after the court was told that out of nine tiger deaths in the past, only six were natural. “The court does not order for investigation by the CBI, but the present case is the rarest of rare cases, where the expertise of the CBI is solicited,” the court said.
The court further observed that in a period of two-and-a-half years, 40 tigers and 272 leopards have died in the state. As per a newspaper report, poachers active in Uttarakhand belong to the Bawariya gang hailing from Haryana. The Director General of Police is directed to constitute an SIT, headed by SSPs, to nab these poachers.
The court further took cognisance of the fact that an area measuring 318.80 hectares falling in Dhulwa and Dhumanda has not been formally included in the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The state is directed to include this area in the Corbett Tiger Reserve within one month.
Issuing various directions to preserve wildlife, the court banned the entry of private or commercial gypsies to ply in the Dhikala zone of the reserve thereby modifying he previous order of permitting 32 vehicles each to ply in the Jhirna as well as Birjani zones.