Mrunal Manmay Dash

Another elephant skeleton was unearthed from the Gopapura forest range, Mandap Reserve forest in Badamba on Monday.

As the elephant carcasses keep tumbling down from near the Narasinghpur-Badamba Forest Range, it has emerged as the hotspot and heaven for poachers.

As per reports, the skeleton was unearthed by the Crime Branch STF which accompanied the Special Investigating Team (SIT) that included Athgarh DFO, CCF of Angul circle and a DSP of Odisha Crime Branch to probe the elephant poaching in the area.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) of Odisha, Sashi Paul informed on Monday that three Trackers have already been arrested in this connection and the Forester and Ranger are still absconding.

“The Police are searching for them. Apart from the criminal proceedings, the due departmental proceedings will also be undertaken against the erring officers,” Paul said.

“We want to make an example out of it so that no other official would ever be inclined to get involved with the poachers and neglect their duty,” he added.

Forest and Environment Minister Pradeep Kumar Amat on Friday had said that a special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to probe the elephant deaths and action would be taken against those found guilty based on the findings of the SIT.

On June 14, the tusker which was found with gunshot injuries near a rivulet in Narasinghapur forest range under Athagarh forest division in Cuttack district succumbed to injuries despite the efforts of expert doctors belonging to Satakosia Tiger Reserve, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology.

Earlier, a carcass of an elephant was exhumed in the same division. It was suspected that poachers buried the jumbo after killing it.

Similarly, on June 2 and 3, a team of the special task force had stumbled upon two skeletal remains of a male and female elephant in the Athagarh forest division.