IISc researchers held for ‘hunting’ at Panna reserve
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
Two researchers from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, were arrested on charges of alleged trespass and hunting inside the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR).
Ishan Agrawal and Aniruddha Datta Roy, both PhD students in their mid 20s, were released on bail on Monday (April 9) after spending two days in jail and a day in detention.
The duo was arrested late on Friday last (April 6) and a specimen of skink (a species of lizard), a tail of skink and two specimens of scorpions and their vehicle, parked on the national highway passing through the PTR, were seized by the field staff.
A local contact Viral Mistri and one Tarun Singh were also arrested.
While the PTR maintained that the four were found 150 to 200 metre inside the reserve and could not satisfactorily explain their presence at 10.30 pm, the researchers claimed that one of them was relieving himself and the rest were standing guard.
Assistant Professor K Praveen Karanth, who is research guide to Ishan and Agrawal, called the PTR's charges "a load of lies''. He alleged that the forest staff isolated the four by taking their mobile phones away.
Karanth said Ishan and Anirudhha were working on a Department of Science and Technology funded project titled, "Testing the `Out-of-India' hypothesis through molecular phylogeny of lizards in peninsular India'' and were currently surveying the fauna of central India.
PTR Deputy Director V S Parihar said the researchers admitted to searching for wildlife and had not taken any permission.
According to him the seized specimens are not on the endangered list of animals under the Wildlife Protection Act but are listed as wildlife. The four have been booked under several sections of the WPA including those related to hunting and habitat destruction.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in ‘friendly fire’