Range Officer Faces Heat, Beast To Be Eliminated

DC & SSP Budgam with bereaved family

Srinagar: The district authorities in Budgam on Friday ordered suspension of a senior wildlife department officer following massive public outrage and anger triggered by the killing of a minor girl by leopards.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Budgam, Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza ordered immediate suspension of Suhail Qazi, Range officer, Wildlife Department Ompora for dereliction of duties. Mirza also ordered a detailed enquiry to be conducted by additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Budgam into the matter.

Earlier DC Budgam and SSP Budgam Tahir Saleem convened a meeting with Wildlife and Forest authorities in which several decisions were taken, an official spokesperson said.

The meeting decided that wildlife Warden Budgam will deploy staff well equipped with machinery for elimination of the wild animal which has turned man-eater after obtaining sanctions from the competent authority. Also, the wildlife staff will be deputed in the periphery of Ompora forests for patrolling and awareness among general public regarding roaming of the leopard in the area.

“They will take immediate steps for capturing of the roaming animal in the forests. Any laxity on this score shall be dealt with strictly,” the official spokesperson said.

The meeting, he said, also decided that wildlife Warden will immediately prepare compensation case and obtain a sanction from competent authority within three days positively, so that necessary compensation being paid to family of deceased.

“DFO, PP Division Budgam will ensure immediate removal of fallen material and other cultural operations at Ompora Forests and other risky areas forthwith in order to avoid to any untoward incident in the area. Commissioner Secretary to Govt Forest Ecology and Environment J&K has assured sanction within two days,” the official spokesperson said.

He further added that DFO will immediately take steps for erection and strengthening of existing chain-link fencing at Ompora forests and will also submit DPR to the higher authorities for sanction of funds.

“He will also process the proposal/case for sanction of thinning of the forest immediately,” the official spokesperson said.

He said that DC Budgam and SSP Budgam also visited the bereaved family and conveyed their heartfelt condolences to them and assured that all possible measures shall be taken to prevent such incidents in future.

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