Nearly 83% of forest offences in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve remain unsolved
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that out of the 704 cases registered in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve till September 17, 2013, chargesheet has been filed after completion of investigation filed only in 120 cases. This implies that 584 cases or nearly 83 % of the total cases remain unsolved.
The high number of unsolved cases is a cause of concern and has led to the Wildlife Trust in Karnataka writing a letter to the principal chief conservator of forests, demanding a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into high-priority cases in Nagarahole. It has been alleged that the premier Tiger reserve is under threat and due attention is not paid to the investigation work. If matter is allowed to slide, the situation may turn out to be similar to the Sariska Tiger Reserve where no Tigers were left due to poaching.
Law provides for enough power to check crimes against the unlawful activities. Unlike police officials, a statement made by a witness before a forest officer is admissible as evidence in court of law. Further, if a person is caught with animal meat or article, the burden of proving his or her innocence lies with the accused.