Wildlife & Biodiversity

Tiger poaching issue reaches Uttarakhand High Court

The court has asked the respondents to file their independent replies on the seizure of five tiger skins in March 2016

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Thursday 11 January 2018

Last year, concern was raised over poaching of tigers in Corbett Tiger Reserve. Credit: Amur Tiger ProgrammeThe issue of tiger poaching in Uttarakhand has been taken up by the state’s high court. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on January 10, the court asked the respondents to file their independent replies on the seizure of five tiger skins in March 2016. The replies have to be filed within six weeks.

The petition was filed by Rajiv Mehta of the non-profit Eye of the Tiger. Mehta is also the former Honorary Wildlife Warden of Rajaji Tiger Reserve. The PIL includes the National Wildlife Board, State Wildlife Board (Uttarakhand), Forest Secretary (Uttarakhand), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Uttarakhand), Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife (Uttarakhand), Chief Wildlife Warden (Uttarakhand), National Tiger Conservation Authority of India and Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve.           

Last year, Mehta had raised concern about tigers in Corbett Tiger Reserve and claimed that in the last three years around 20 tigers have been poached in the park.

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“None of the inquires ordered by the Forest Minister, the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office have been acted upon. After we had exhausted all our options, we decided to move court,” Mehta said.

The PIL seeks a high-level CBI inquiry into the matter with the involvement of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. It also seeks putting the current Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, DVS Khati on suspension till the proceedings of the court finish.

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