Missing Panna tigers: Ramesh promises accountability
Express news service Posted online: Thursday , Jun 25, 2009 at 0022 hrs
New Delhi : A Day after The Indian Express reported that all tigers in Panna have been poached as found by a Central Special Investigative Team (SIT) probe, Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said “accountability will be fixed” for the “exaggeration of tiger numbers and the reasons for extinction in Panna tiger reserve”. Ramesh, who received the SIT report on Wednesday, is likely to write to Madhya Pradesh to take action on the report.
“Wildlife is a concurrent subject and the ministry can advise on action taken. The final actions have to be taken by the state,” said a senior official from MOEF indicating the Centre will soon start correspondence with MP on the issue. The SIT report found that MP has been consistently denying any problems in Panna, including that of “organised” tiger poaching between 2002 and 2009. The last tiger in Panna was poached by January this year.
A camera trap survey done by Wildlife Institute of India in February also revealed that there were no tigers in Panna, but the state Forest Department denied even this, saying the tiger population was scattered around the reserve.