BHOPAL: The state forest department on Thursday suspended three officers including a deputy danger accusing them of dereliction of duty, holding them prima facie responsible for the electrocution of a tiger in Kanti district on Wednesday.
Action was taken against deputy ranger LB Pratap Singh, Vijayaraghogarh range, forest beat guards B B Dubey and Ramesh Kachi.
“They should have patrolled the area without fail. The incident could have been averted had the beat guards patrolled the areas and alerted the farmers against using such initiates to prevent their crops, said M K Khan, a divisional forest officer (DFO) Katni.
Fully grown tiger was electrocuted at the Vijayaraghogarh range, after it came in contact with an electric trap apparently laid by a farmer in a bid to protect his standing crops from the attack of wild animals such as wild boars.
Two separate teams have been constituted to inspect the farm land and check the presence of such wires. The teams would patrol the area round the clock, said the officer.
Meanwhile, the farmer who laid the trap has been identified as Kohli, a resident of Jhigia village, 20 km from Katni. A hunt is on to arrest the accused.
Chief wildlife warden DPK Shukla said that they have decided to depute more beat guards in the area and other important sanctuaries.
A team from Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) has also been dispatched to Katni to investigate the matter.
The forest officials is also looking for strong actions against officers of the electricity department owing their negligence in connection with the previous killing of a tiger in Katni.
Ajay Dubey of NGO Prayatna has shot off a letter to minister for forest Sartaj Singh drawing his attention to the threat to the lives of tigers in the state in view of the state government’s failure to ensure their safety.
He pointed out that the state government has failed to set up special tiger protection force (SPTF) to protect tiger from poachers, despite a full financial support for it. Also the state government had been lingering on the formalities for CBI inquiry into disappearance of tigers from Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) despite its announcement in March 2010. Dubey also questioned appointment of Dr P K Shukla to the post of chief wildlife warden, alleging that he has no special qualification of wild life management.
Earlier on Wednesday, he had dispatched a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh urging him to take appropriate steps to protect the tigers in the state.