3 top forest officials removed after tiger death in Sunderbans
KOLKATA, OCT 17 (PTI)
Days after the discovery of a tiger carcass in the Sunderbans, three top forest officials, including the Field Director Tiger Reserve, were tonight removed from their posts by the West Bengal government in a swift move.
Besides the Director Niraj Singhal, Sunderban Biosphere Pradeep Shukla and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Pradip Bist were unceremoniously stripped of their posts at a high-level meeting chaired by Forest minister Ananta Roy at ‘Aranya Bhavan’ here, a top forest official told PTI.
The meeting took exception to the ‘tardy’ pace of investigation in the tiger death which led to the handing over of the case to CID in the light of the apparent failure of the forest department to crack the case.
The rise in incidents of poaching and halt in patrolling by forest guards in some key parts of the mangrove forest and recent intrusions of tigers into human habitation also figured in today’s key discussions which were preceded by preliminary talks for past two days, he said.
While Subrat Mukhopadhyay, one-time field Deputy Director of Tiger Reserve in past, would take the place of Singhal, the new appointees for other two vital posts were not known.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General, CID, Bhupinder Singh told a private TV channel tonight that the tiger had died of bullet wounds.
He said CID was pursuing all leads in the investigation of the death of the full-grown tiger, whose carcass was found floating on a river near Gosaba over a week back.
The tiger was suspected to have been killed by a group of deer poachers who entered the forest from Jharkhali.
Three persons Babu Mondal, Amulya Samaddar and Nishi Haldar had been arrested in connection with the death.