Panaji: The investigation into the last
year`s tiger killing in the state, has named state’s renowned
environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar as abettor in the crime as he
(Kerkar) did not reveal the source of information.
The investigation document mentions that Kerkar, who
initially exposed the case through a newspaper, did not reveal
the source of information and claimed it as a "secret source."
The State government has got the formal confirmation
about the tiger killing from the Dehradun-based Wildlife
Institute of India (WII). It has confirmed that the animal
killed in the forest of Keri village, 60 kms away from here,
was a tiger. The tiger poaching case was brought to light by
Kerkar through his writing in the newspaper and had carried
the picture of an animal carcass lying between two boulders.
"He had to be made abettor as he was not cooperating
with the officers. Initially for almost one-and-half-months,
we were scouting through vast jungle to get a clue based on
the photograph carried in the newspaper," a senior Forest
officer said. The tiger was killed in last week of February
last year, the incident was reported in April.
The Forest Department has said that they had made
Kerkar as abettor as they wanted to confirm the computer in
which the picture of tiger was downloaded. "Kerkar also
claimed that the tiger was seen in the area for last two years
and it had killed the cattle. We wanted to see whether there
were any report of cattle killed during the period," the
Forest Department has already zeroed on two accused
belonging to Majik community who allegedly shot the wounded
tiger who had got entangled in the wire snares. When
questioned Chief Conservator of Forest Shashi Kumar said that
he would not like to comment on Kerkar being made abettor as
`case is being investigated.’
Kerkar said today that the Forest Department’s
action was expected. "The department is more interested in
covering up the incident," he alleged.
He said that as a journalist, he had carried the
picture in the newspaper and had not told about the origin of
picture so as to protect the source.