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Balasore: Authorities of Balasore Forest Division today suspended two of its staff on charges of dereliction of duty and served show cause notice to Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) in connection with poaching of an elephant for tusks in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in the district on June 5.

Balasore Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Biswaraj Panda suspended Kuldiha Forester Kishore Chandra Bhuyan and Forest Guard Lalmohan Singh and also issued a show cause notice to ACF Laxman Kumar Pradhan in connection with the poaching incident.

A carcass of an elephant with tusks missing from its body was recovered near Tenda in Kuldiha sanctuary on June 5. Soon after the incident, the Forest department launched an inquiry to ascertain the exact cause behind the death of the tusker. The autospy report of the pachyderm confirmed poachers had killed it two days ago and taken away tusks from its body.

Sources said as many as five elephants were killed in Nilagiri Forest Range between 2013 and 2015 when Laxman Pradhan was posted as the ACF in the area. Similarly, four elephants have so far been killed for various reasons between 2015 and 2019 during Pradhan’s tenure as ACF in Kuladiha.

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