PESHAWAR, Feb 27: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed the district administration and police of Chitral to arrest those who killed a markhor in the area recently.
While taking up a suo motu case regarding the killing of the endangered animal in Chitral, which was first reported in chitraltoday.net, Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan directed that the chief conservator of the province should also be summoned during the next hearing of the case, the date for which is yet to be fixed.
When Justice Dost Mohammad and Justice MrsIrshad Qaiser took up the matter, the court’s human rights cell that the wild animal was about to become extinct due to unchecked and rampant poaching. The chief justice observed that influential people were involved in the poaching of the markhor. He said it was the duty of the wildlife department officials to create awareness about the conservation of the animal among the residents.
The court asked the officials concerned, including the DC and DPO of Chitral, to arrest the people who were involved in the killing of the animal last week and submit a report to the court during the next hearing of the case. It may be recalled that in a report published in chitraltoday.net on Feb 18, it was reported that five unknown persons driving a red double-cabin Datsun (GLT-5512) were caught red-handed by the forest staff after they hunted the markhor in Birmoghlast near Chitral. But the poachers escaped with the booty, threatening the forest officials of dire consequences.
However, during the brawl the forest officials snatched a piece of leg, head of the animal and hide from the poachers. Despite registration of a case with the local police, the culprits, however, remain un-traced. People of the area are surprised why someone could so openly hunt the animal and remained untraced. So far it is also not known whose property this mysterious Datsun bearing GLT 5512 registration plate was. Is it difficult to trace the owner of the vehicle in an area like Chitral? It shows the incompetency of the police and the wildlife department officials.
Many people say they are hand in glove with the poachers. The suo motu action by the PHC chief Justice is a welcomed news to discourage such elements and bring all those to justice who have been plundering with the resources of Chitral with impunity.