BHUBANESWAR: A team of forest officials on Sunday arrested notorious poacher Babuli Mahalik (45) for his alleged involvement in hunting of around 20 elephants in the State. The team of Athagarh Divisional Forest Office (DFO) arrested Mahalik from his native village Durgaprasad in Narasingpur block of Cuttack district.
Athagarh forest officials formed a special squad to nab him from Durgaprasad after they came to know about his visit to the village on Saturday night. A deerskin, antlers and a country-made gun were seized from his possession.
Athagarh DFO Sasmita Lenka said Mahalik is the prime accused in poaching of two tuskers at Haladiaseni Reserve Forest in Badamba Range in February 2018 and was absconding since then. The case has already been transferred to Special Task Force of the Crime Branch for investigation by the wildlife wing of the Forest department. The shooter has allegedly killed nearly 20 elephants in different forest divisions, including Boudh, Dhenkanal and Athagarh, the DFO said. Lenka said the poacher along with his two associates was shooting elephants for their tusk as per the demand of mafias.