Ex-minister nabbed for poaching Chinkara deer

August 30th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 30 (IANS) Former Maharashtra transport minister Dharmarao Baba Atram was arrested Saturday in connection with poaching of the protected Chinkara deer, said a police official.He was presented before a magistrate in Saswad court who sent him to police custody for 14 days.

Atram, who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), submitted a bail application which is expected to come up for hearing late Saturday afternoon.

The NCP leader came under a cloud after the arrest of one Suresh Beramani. The remains of a Chinkara deer and guns were seized when the forest department raided his farmhouse near Panchgani in Satara district, soon after the poaching incident.

In July the forest department raided Atram’s home in Gadchiroli, eastern Maharashtra and discovered remains of a Chinkara deer from there.

Some villagers near the Bhor sub-district, who had reportedly seen Atram and his friend partying after allegedly killing the animals, had tipped off the forest department. They had seen the duo hunting the animals in the jungles near Baramati June 14.

On July 7, Atram submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. In his resignation letter, he claimed that he was innocent but was resigning in view of an inquiry against him.

He moved the Bombay High Court, which directed him to remain present before the Bhor forest department office Aug 28 for inquiry into the matter.

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