Blue sheep poaching case: Police officer among accused 

By Stanzin Dasal Leh, Dec 26, 2020
Leh :

The poaching case of a blue sheep at South Pullu, near Khardong La, on December 15 has sparked a controversy due to the involvement of a Ladakh Police officer. 

Inspector Parvez Ahmed is one of the accused in the poaching case registered under Section 9, 11 & 12 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Ataullah Bhat, 39, a resident of Leh, was the prime accused arrested on the same day. He was sent on judicial remand but is currently out on bail. 

Inspector Parvez Ahmed, a resident of Leh, is on interim bail but has been asked to report to the Wildlife Office daily. 

As per sources, the Wildlife Department conducted a raid at co-accused Parvez's residence and seized 25 bullets. A fur of an animal recovered from Parvez's vehicle has been sent to the forensic lab. 

Speaking on the issue, ADGP Satish Khandare said, “We will proceed as per the service conduct rules and police manual on merits when the department is informed and approached by the Wildlife Department.” 

Sajjad Hussain Mufti, Chief Wildlife Warden, Ladakh, said, “We have arrested the accused, and we have also recovered and seized the weapon (.22 rifle) used by them. We have gathered all the evidence and are now investigating the case from every angle.”

“We have concrete evidence, and there would be no laxity in the case,” he assured.

The wildlife department refused to share more information as the case is still under investigation.
However, it has been learned that the weapon used for poaching was owned by Parvez Ahmed’s elder brother Ghulam Nabi. 

One of the injured blue sheeps currently undergoing treatment at the rescue centre in Leh is said to be in critical condition. Sources reveal that a bullet was found in the body of the injured blue sheep. 

Registered poaching cases in Leh

A poaching case was reported from Raldong Nala near the Mahay bridge area on November 25, 2008. Two people were identified and arrested with weapons and the meat of the dead animals. The FSL report confirmed it was the meat of blue sheep. 

On April 14, 2016, three people, including two army personnel, were arrested in connection with the poaching of Ladakh Urial (Shapo). Police seized weapons, including a telescopic gun, from an army vehicle. The police registered a case bearing FIR no. 15/2016 on April 13 under section 8/51 Wildlife Protection Act and Section 7/27 of Indian Arms Act. 

Another case of poaching of a blue sheep at Gya Meru Rong was registered on December 11, 2016. The body of the blue sheep was recovered, but the poachers could not be identified. However, an FIR bearing no 93/16 under section 8/51 of the Wildlife Act was registered at Police Post Kharu.

Last year, another case of poaching of blue sheep was reported on December 18 in Nubra valley. The accused were identified as Mehdi Ali and Ghulam Hassan from Bogdang. Medhi Ali, who was accompanying Ghulam Hassan, confessed to having committed the crime. 

The rise in the number of poaching cases in Leh district has raised questions over the safety of wild animals and the failure of the District Administration to punish the culprits. These poaching cases show the way the system works. Even though the accused are identified and arrested, they are not served strict punishment, and eventually, they are released on bail.