Rashmi Ranjan

Six forest department officials, who were arrested after a poacher allegedly died in the custody of Badamba forest range under Cuttack’s Athgarh division, will be placed under suspension, informed Debidutta Biswal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) on Thursday.

The six forest department officials will be suspended within 48 hours, Biswal said.

The divisional forest officer (DFO) will suspend the five staff and recommend the Forest department’s headquarters to suspend the ranger, sources said.

Notably, six forest department officials including Badamba ranger Subrat Behera were arrested and forwarded to the court in connection with the case.

It is worthwhile to mention here that, one Dhaneswar Behera, a resident of Khuntakata Satagochhia village, was picked up by the Forest department officials on Sunday on charges of poaching a tusker and removing its tusks.

However, he died under mysterious circumstances in the Forest department custody triggering tension in the area.

On the basis of the complaint lodged by Dhaneswar’s wife, the police had registered an FIR with murder charges against the Athgarh DFO, Badamba Range officer, ACF and other forest department employees.

(Reported by Bibartan Panda, OTV)