10 Forest Officials Detained, Locals Protest After Custodial Death Of Tusker Poaching Accused In Odisha’s Cuttack

Cuttack: Ten forest officials were detained by police after a 59-year-old man died in the custody at a range office, while angry locals ransacked and torched a beat house in Badamba area of Odisha’s Cuttack district.

Infuriated by the death of Dhaneswar Behera of Khuntakata village at Badamba range office under mysterious circumstances, locals staged a protest, besides ransacking and setting afire a beat house at Banpur under Athagarh forest division on Monday, sources said.

As tension prevailed in the area, three platoons of police force were deployed in order to prevent any further untoward incident. Senior officials including Athagarh Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) and Badamba Tehsildar rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation and restore normalcy.

The ten persons detained by the police include two assistant conservators of forests (ACFs) and Badamba ranger.

A senior forest department official said the actual cause of death of the man is yet to be ascertained and conservator rank officer is being sent to conduct a probe. Discussion has been held with the district Collector of Cuttack and action will be taken if anyone is found guilty, he said.

It may be noted here that Behera was picked up by forest officials on Sunday on charges of poaching a tusker and removing its tusks. The decomposed carcass of the tusker with gunshot wounds and without tusks was found in Hipinda reserve forest under Badamba range on January 31.

While in the custody of forest department at Badamba, Behera died under mysterious circumstances triggering tension in the area. It was alleged that the carcass had been lying in the forest before being spotted by locals who informed the forest department.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.