CHANDRAPUR: A jawan of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) deployed in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve died of suspicious reasons and lack of timely medical treatment in jungle on Saturday afternoon. Kin of deceased Dilip Gandham (23) on Sunday created an uproar at Chandrapur civil hospital blaming laxity on part of forest officials for the death.
Gandham was deployed at STPF Pangdi base camp and was part of special team sent to track the man-eater tiger to Navegaon. On Saturday afternoon he claimed of pain in chest and started for Sindewahi with his colleague Naresh Ladse on bike for treatment after seeking permission from RFO Shirinivas Pachgave. However, the bike went out of fuel only two km from Pangdi post in jungle. While Ladse was trying to restart the bike, Gandham suddenly collapsed on the ground.
Worried Ladse then left the failed bike and unconscious Gandham in the jungle and ran to Pangdi gate of TATR for help. “I called for help on wireless from Pangdi gate and rushed back to the spot with local beat guard Datta Jadhav on his bike. Soon RFO Pachgave reached there on a bike. He directed us (Ladse and Jadhav) to rush Gandham to hospital on the bike,” said Ladse. Doctors at Sindewahi rural hospital declared Gandham brought dead.
Deceased jawan’s brother Vinod Gandham, who is a cop in Aheri, blamed lethargy on part of forest officials for death. “The case appears to be of poisoning as the dead body turned black. Pachgave refused to give a four-wheeler to take my brother to hospital. Had my brother received timely treatment, his life could have been saved,” he alleged. Gandham’s kin created scene at Chandrapur civil hospital and even tried to manhandle RFO Pachgave who had came there to offer condolence.
Pachgave explained that Gandham appeared fine when he started for Sindewahi from Pangdi. “I rushed to the spot in the jungle on Sindewahi road on receiving wireless SOS. Gandham was unconscious and appeared in serious condition. As four-wheeler was not available at Pangdi, I called for one from Kolsa, which is 8km away. However the arrival of four-wheeler could have taken time, hence Jadhav and Ladse were directed to rush him to hospital on bike,” he said.
CCF, TATR, Virendra Tiwari gave written assurance to Gandham’s kin that a thorough probe will be conducted if the case turns out to be of unnatural death. “We have not received post mortem report, but it appears to a case of heart attack. If post mortem report claims death due to poisoning, then thorough inquiry will be conducted into the matter,” he said.
Tiwari declared of Rs1 lakh aid for Gandham family from tiger foundation. A proposal seeking compensation on grounds of one given to the cops who die on duty, would also be forwarded to government, he added.