Probe in chinkara poaching case hits roadblock

Vadodara: Even five days after carcasses of two Chinkara cubs were found near Bitta village in Abdasa tehsil of the district, Forest officials are still groping in the dark to trace the poachers and have roped in the NGOs, police and locals to get clue on the crime.

"The limbs, heads and some other body part of the two Chinkara cubs were found on the outskirt of Bitta village Saturday last on the Christmas eve. One of them was six-month-old and another one year," District Forest Officer (West) AC Sampant told a news agency.

It is not clear whether the endangered gazelle were killed at the said spot since Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary--of which chinkara is a flagship species--is said to be only one of its kind located in India in Bhuj district of the state.

"Dismembered bodies of the cubs were found at the spot in Bitta village but they were hunted elsewhere and parts of their bodies were dumped on the outskirt of this village," he said.

The Forest department has roped in locals, police and NGOs to trace the poachers since it could not find any witness to the crime.

"We sent the carcasses for postmortem at Rajkot and sought help of Forensic experts whose report is awaited," Sampat said.

The poachers must have hunted down the cubs after chasing them elsewhere and might have come to Bitta village to destroy the evidence, he added.

Under Wildlife Act 1972, there is a provision of a fine up to Rs 10,000 and three years imprisonment for poaching the schedule-I animal.