Badamba: The death of a villager in the custody of forest officials over alleged poaching of a tusker in Hinpinda jungle has opened up a can of worms with three other villagers were also found to have been brutally assaulted by the forest officials during their detention here in Cuttack district.
The injured villagers were identified as Raj Kishore Pradhan, 58, of Shyamsundarpur village, Biranchi Jani, 60, of Soruan village and Rajiv Swain, 36, of Gopapur village under Badamba police limits in Cuttack district. The three injured villagers after being brutally assaulted were released from detention by the forest officials, Athagarh SDPO Bijay Kumar Bisi said.
Rajkishore and Biranchi sustained critical injuries and have been admitted to Badamba community health centre for treatment. Both the critically injured require advanced treatment but shifting them to any other hospital is becoming difficult due to lack of money, family members said.
Sources said forest officials recovered the carcass of a tusker with its tusks trimmed from Hipinda jungle bordering Badamba in Cuttack district and Hindol in Dhenkanal district. They conducted a post-mortem of the carcass but failed to ascertain as to when the tusker was killed and who might be responsible for its death.
They picked up four persons on suspicion of their involvement in the killing of the tusker four days back. They detained the four persons in their custody and brutally assaulted them to make them speak the truth about the animal’s death. A villager Dhaneswar Behera of Satagochhia village under the Badamba police limits succumbed to the brutality and a complaint was lodged at the local police station.
Senior police officials and Athagarh Sub-Collector conducted a probe into the incident. Later, seven forest officials including the Badamba ranger were nabbed and produced in the court, Tuesday.
post news network
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