Bahawalpur: Deer stolen from national park recovered
BAHAWALPUR: Abbas Nagar police have arrested a man and recovered one of the deer stolen from the Lal Sohanra National Park on Monday. An FIR was registered against six men on charges of theft of four deer on the complaint of Game inspector Ghulam Murtaza.
SHO Imran Siddiqi said Akbar had identified his accomplices as Noora, Ajmal, Allah Wasaia, Noni and Geedra. About the collusion of park staff, he said Akbar had not yet said if any of the staff members were colluding with him.
Akbar told the police that his group had been stealing pets and cattle from Chistian, Hasilpur and Fort Abbas. The deer theft from National Park, Akbar told the police, was a first for the gang.
A member of the park staff speaking on condition of anonymity, however, said that seven deer were stolen from the park. He alleged that Murtaza and game watcher Muhammad Usman were not disclosing the number possibly because they were involved in the crime.
He said six armed men had raided 25 RD, the area where deer were kept, and stole the animals using some anaesthetic causing the deer to faint. He said Usman, the caretaker of the area, was absent from duty that day.
DPO Babar Bakht Qureshi said that though Murtaza was the complainant in the FIR, he suspected him and other staff members, including game watcher Muhammad Usman, of involvement in the theft. He said the police were interrogating Murtaza and some other staff and that they would be arrested if found guilty of collusion with the thieves. He said it seemed impossible for someone from the outside to steal the animals without help from some of the officials. “A team has been formed to investigate the matter as the deer theft had become a routine at the park,” he said.
DCO Bahwalpur Naeem Rouf said that if anyone of the staff members were involved in the theft he would ensure that they were suspended from service. He said deer theft had become a routine at the National Park. He said he had discussed the matter with the DPO and they had agreed to investigate the matter at length.
Game inspector Murtaza and Game Watcher Usman were not available for their comments. Lal Sohanra National Park is spread over an area of 127,480 acres. It has a diverse range of animals kept in their natural environment. These include deer, lions, rhinos, and peacocks.