ICSFDC News Alerts

Maharashtra: Arms in police custody, Pench tiger protectors left toothless by Vijay Pinjarkar April 25,2016   |  Source: The Times of India

At a time when illegal fishermen have been charged with igniting forest fires in Deolapar range of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR), the rural police has left the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) weapon-less by seizing five guns from its personnel over the last one year. After the firing incident in Totladoh lake in Pench on February 23, 2015, in which one illegal fisherman had died, Deolapar police had seized STPF's two 9mm pistols, one 7.62mm SLR rifle, two 12 bore guns, 15 cartridges and 12 bullets. The weapons were used by the STPF in self-defence. The Centre had set up armed STPF basically to protect forests and tigers. However, the purpose is being defeated now as its arms have been seized despite lawful action on part of the personnel. The PTR has finally moved the court to get back its weapons. On February 23, 2015, a group of fishermen was involved in fishing in Totladoh lake inside PTR. STPF patrolling party tried to drive them away and warned the fishermen to leave the area. However, the fishermen, who were in large numbers, were defiant and challenged the patrolling party. The STPF warned fishermen that if they did not leave, fire arms would be used. Even as this warning was being given, fishermen started pelting stones with the help of slings on STPF men. They also


© 2016, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)