BENGALURU: The CID probe into the massive forest fire in Bandipur tiger reserve and Kappatagudda has taken off albeit after a delay of nearly two months. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced a probe by Criminal Investigation Department on March 6 after thousands of acres of forest in Bandipur and Kappatagudda was gutted and a forest guard was killed while trying to douse the fire in Bandipur.
A CID forest cell, DIG Nagaraj said, “We have taken up the case and inquiry is going on at four places.”
The forest fire case came up for probe only in the last week of April, SP (Special Inquiry) Siri Gowri said. “The probe has just started and it will take some time. We are yet to visit the places that have been identified where the forest fire occurred. The state has not given any terms of reference. We will look into it prima facie.”
On the issue of destruction of evidence with the state government suspecting it to be an act of sabotage, she said, “Forest officials would have collected evidence while we have our own sources to get counter evidence.
Criticising the delay, activists said the probe seems to be an eyewash as no terms of reference have been set by the state government. Activist G Veeresh said, “This is nothing but delaying tactics what with the failure of senior officials to tackle the fire. Unfortunately, the CID team has not visited the spot while even the terms of reference have not been set by the state government.”