ADILABAD: Kagaznagar Forest officials arrested ten poachers of a gang and seized a tiger skin while the poachers were transporting it from Indervelli mandal of Adilabad district to Maharashtra through the Kagaznagar division.The poachers killed the tiger in Hirapur forest area. As part of the investigation, Forest officials from Kagaznagar, Utnoor and Indervelli, along with police officials, visited Vadghaon and Hirapur forest areas to inspect the spot were the tiger was killed. They also took into custody a Revenue employee at Indervelli mandal.
However, the investigation angered tribals in the areas, who claimed the officials were carrying out searches randomly without having any relevant information, and were targetting tribals. The Adivasi Hakulla Porata Samithi (Thuddum Debba) leaders and other tribals staged a rasta roko on Adilabad-Mancherial road in Indervalli mandal headquarter. They obstructed the vehicles of Kagaznagar forest officials and removed air from the tyres.
Thuddum Debba district president Goddam Ganesh alleged though the Indervelli Revenue officer was innocent. “Apart from this, on the pretext of carrying out searches, forest officials entered the houses of adivasis while keeping their shoes on, which was disrespectful to the tribals as the latter were carrying out pujas at home, in lieu of Deepavali being around the corner.
Ganesh also stressed that adivasis living in the forest always only protected the forest and never destroyed it. He, in fact, alleged that Forest officials and staff themselves were involved in transporting the tigers. He blamed them of using nails and skin from tigers, and teak wood from forests, to decorate their houses.
“How will those things come here, as the adivasis’ houses have bamboo doors? Recently, near the premises of Cement Corporation of India (CCI) in Adilabad town, a huge quantity of teak wood was seized and a Forest officer was involved in the case,” Ganesh said.Kumramheem district forest officer Shantharam, when contacted, said the issue was being investigated.