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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The Odisha Forest department on Monday suspended the Forest Ranger at Athagarh, Aisa Akhtar Nisa from service following an investigation into the hurried burial of a tusker, which had received gunshot wounds, without informing the higher officials and adherence to the investigation protocol.   

As per reports, the suspension of Nisa followed the submission of the investigation report by the Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF).

On August 27, last year (2020), the carcass of a tusker was found with gunshot injuries in the Subasi forest range of Athagarh-a sub division of Cuttack district. The male elephant had been shot at, believably by poachers, and died subsequently. However, the local Forest Ranger allegedly buried the carcass of the majestic animal secretly without investigating the matter and without informing the senior officials. 

After the RCCF learnt about the incident, a probe was launched earlier this month. The RCCF had also ordered action against the local staff on the grounds of dereliction of duty. The investigation ordered by the RCCF was meant to identify the person/s involved in the killing of the elephant and unravel the death mystery of the elephant.

As per the protocol, if a wild animal is found dead under suspicious conditions, the matter should first be reported to the higher authorities for facilitating further probe. But, the local staff failed to follow the procedure and buried the carcass secretly.

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