Police wake up to Hangul poaching
Arrest 6 Persons, Recover Weapon Of Offence
Srinagar, Jan 28: Police have arrested six persons accused of having poached the rare Kashmiri stag or Hangul—an endangered species—recently in Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Srinagar.
“We have arrested all the six accused in poaching of Hangul,” Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Nehru Park, Muzaffar Shah told Greater Kashmir. “We have also recovered the weapon of offence from them. Its 12 bore single barrel unlicensed gun.”
He said all the accused were the residents of Khamoh area of Srinagar.
“We conducted several raids in the area and caught hold of one of the suspects named Gulzar Chopan. During investigation, he disclosed the name of five more accused. Subsequently they too were apprehended,” Shah said.
He said the main culprit who perpetrated the crime was Muhammad Shafi Bhat, a professional hunter. “Bhat actually fired and killed the Hangul,” Shah said. “Others were his accomplices”.
He said all the evidences against the accused have been gathered and would soon be produced before a court.
“All the six accused have sneaked in Dachigam Park via Khanmouh,” Shah said. “It’s for the first time that poachers have been arrested.”
On the night of January 18-19 midnight, a Hangul was poached in the park. Officials had noticed a suspicious movement there and later chased four persons. All of them fled from the spot, but four kilograms of Hangul meat were recovered from the scene.
The Hangul is listed as an endangered species in the Red Data Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Hangul is the only surviving race of the Red Deer family in the Indian sub-continent.
Hangul is on the verge of extinction in Kashmir. Known for its magnificent antlers with 11 to 16 points, Hangul was once distributed widely in the mountains of Kashmir. During early ‘90s, their number was believed to be about 3,000 to 5,000. According to the population estimation carried by the Department of Wildlife Protection and subsequent analysis by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the Hangul population has been down in between 117 to 190 currently. The Hangul population is now scattered within 141 sq km of the Dachigam National Park.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 29 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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