BRT arrest: Wildlife NGO in the dock

BRT arrest: Wildlife NGO in the dock

The Forest department has asked the representatives of a wildlife NGO operating in Satyamangala forests, to appear for inquiry in connection with the arrest of a person in Punajanuru village of the district.

The Forest officials on Saturday arrested Selvakmar (43),  resident of a village near Mettupalyam in Tamil Nadu and recovered six kg of tiger bones, skull and nails from him. Punajanur is located on the periphery of Biligiriranganathaswamy tiger reserve. A team led by the Forest Conservator of the tiger reserve arrested Selvakumar and a search has been launched to nab his three accomplices. He has been booked for various offences under the Wildlife Protection Act.

A forest official, who wished to be unnamed, said that during interrogation, Selvakumar has revealed the role of two representatives of an wildlife NGO in the illegal trade.

“A wildlife NGO set up under the guidance of a renowned wildlife expert of the State is carrying out its activities in Satyamangala forests. The NGO is funded by a US-based organisation. The representatives of this NGO have been asked to appear for questioning.  They could not be contacted as they have switched off their mobile phone,” the officer said.

It has come to light that the NGO had been instigating the local people for poaching wild animals and later tip-off the forest department about them. “Soon after the arrest of the culprits, the NGO would take credit for providing information to the Forest department,” the officer explained. Notice would be issued to the NGO representatives asking them to appear for interrogation, he added.

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