JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Jammu, April 20: Two Army jawans and a civilian have been arrested on the charges of poaching urial wild deer, an endangered species, in Ladakh.
Poaching by the civilian identified as Arjun Mehta from New Delhi who is a guest of the Commanding Officer of an Army unit, and two soldiers are in police custody.
Soldiers who were involved are identified as Kata Prahsan and Inder Soni Singh of the 254 Armoured Brigade have recorded their confession under Section 164 of the CrPC and turned witness in the case,” said Leh SP T Gyalpo. Later, released on bail.
FIR under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and Arms Act was registered against Mehta and the two soldiers.
Gyalpo said that as the soldier who have turned witness have said they were obeying the orders of their Commanding Officer to accompany the guest, Therefore Col Bhanupartap Singh is also included in the FIR.
Gyalpo also said that Col Bhanupratap Singh, who had provided an Army vehicle and two soldiers to accompany Brigadier Mehta’s son, is also being questioned, and will be arrested soon and later have to seek bail from court.
He stated that a telescope-fitted single-barrel gun, a licensed weapon issued in the name of the pilot of a private airliner, was used for poaching.
Gyalpo said that at least three rounds were fired and live catridges have been recovered from the Army which was provided by the Colonel to his Guest.
This incident was reported by the Wildlife Team to the police when the team confronted the civilian and soldiers, in return were roughed up by the soldiers.
Tahir Shawl, Wildlife Warden, Dachigam National Park, said that, the guilty Army men are convicted under the Wildlife Protection Act or Arms Act.
Under the Wildlife Protection Act, a convict can be awarded a maximum jail term of six years or a fine of Rs 25,000 or both.”