Wildlife officer in trouble for punishing poachers
KARACHI: A Balochistan Wildlife Department official ran into trouble after he caught and fined four poachers, among them a national of an Arab country, for illegally hunting rare species of ibex, sources said.
On Sept 20 at the Nani checkpost in Macchi area of Kund Malir, BWD’s Range Forest Officer Abdul Rehman found Shakoor Ahmed, Ali Baloch, Shabbir and an unidentified Arab national in possession of carcasses of two rare ibexes illegally hunted in the Hingol National Park. A case was registered against the poachers and a fine of Rs 80,000 imposed.
Within a few days of the incident, Mr Rehman was transferred from the HNP in the Lasbela district to a remote part of Dera Bugti for, the sources claimed, not carrying out orders of the high-ups, meaning that the poachers should have been allowed to go unpunished.
The Arab national was being provided security by Pasni-based personnel of some law-enforcement agencies, the sources claimed.
They said the BWD officer had got a case registered against the poachers. On the poachers’ request, the case was not forwarded to a court of law and decided by the department’s officials under Section 33 of the Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act 1974 and a fine of Rs1,000 was imposed on the poachers, who also paid Rs79,000 in compensation for the killed ibex.
Talking to Dawn, a senior BWD officer confirmed that Mr Rehman had been transferred to Dera Bugti on Sept 25.
The president of Village Conservation Committee of Hingol National Park, Mohammad Ibrahim, said poaching had increased in the park after the construction of the coastal highway which runs through the HNP, providing easy an access to the wildlife habitat.
He demanded action against poachers and sought protection for the wildlife staffers and officers performing their duty with honesty.
Mr Ibrahim said this was the second time that these poachers had come to the park. Earlier, they had arrived in the area but returned when the BWD staff stopped them from hunting, despite telephonic directives from a Quetta-based senior official who at the time was on a visit to the Middle East and called from there, asking the wildlife staffers to facilitate the poachers.
At that time the poachers had to return as the wildlife people did not allow them to go hunting, but this time they succeeded in poaching two rare species of ibex, he added.