Vikash Sharma

A forester was shot dead by poachers at Karanjia in Mayurbhanj district. The deceased forester of Barahakumuda range has been identified as Mati Hansda.

As per initial reports, an exchange of fire broke out between a team of forest department officials and a group of poachers on late Friday night. The incident occurred when the forest department team was carrying out patrolling inside Similipal Sanctuary at Gamuchajharan.

Sources said that the forest department team intercepted a group of poachers inside the range. On seeing the forest officials, the poachers opened fire. The forester Mati Hansda, who sustained a bullet injury on his chest, was immediately rushed to the hospital following the attack. However, he succumbed to the injury later.

Deputy director (Similipal north division) Sai Kiran said, “There was an incident in which our staff intercepted some poachers and an exchange of fire happened among them. The forester was rushed to Karanjia hospital. We have registered a case in connection with the incident.”

Earlier two forest department officials were killed in the past two months. A 35-year-old forest guard was shot dead by a group of poachers in the month of May this year in the same Similipal forest. A poacher was also killed by forest department officials.

It is suspected that the recent killing of forester could be an attempt by the poachers to avenge the killing of the poacher. However, further investigation in this connection is underway.

Meanwhile, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav took to the Twitter and said MOEFCC has already taken cognisance of the matter and a team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is being sent to support the State machinery.

“I am deeply saddened at the loss of our fallen warrior in the line of duty. We salute his sacrifice and extend our heartfelt condolences. MOEFCC has already taken cognisance of the matter and a team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is being sent to support the State machinery. The accused have been identified and one of them has been taken into custody. A country-made gun has also been seized. Stringent action under the WLPA 1970 and IPC will be ensured by the enforcing agencies,” Yadav wrote.

  • Reported by:
  • Deepak Mahanta
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