Govt officials caught poaching partridges
Five people, including a secretary of the Regional Transport Authority and the officer in charge of the Liaquatpur Wildlife Department, were arrested in Cholistan on Sunday for poaching partridges. They were also fined Rs78,000.
Wildlife Department Rahim Yar Khan District Officer Mujahid Kaleem told reporters that he had received a complaint that Bahawalpur RTA Secretary Tanveer Ahmad Jhandeer had taken a hunting party down to Cholistan Game Reserve near 32 Wali Mori.
Kaleem said a team of the Wildlife Department raided the area and caught them red-handed. He said the team also seized several partridges, two 0.12 bore shotguns and around 110 cartridges. Police seized the two vehicles the poachers had driven to the reserve in.
Liaquatpur Wildlife Department In-charge Muhammad Altaf was among the five arrested. Police said a doctor from Lahore was with them as well, but they did not disclose his name.
The Wildlife Department announced departmental action against Altaf, fined them Rs78,000 and confiscated the partridges seized from them.
Addressing reporters at his office on Monday, Wildlife & Parks Punjab Director General Khalid Ayaz Khan said they had collected more than Rs17.9 million in fines from poachers and people who kept wild animals without a permit.
He said 4,047 cases had been registered against poachers and rules’ violators under the Punjab Wildlife Act 1974 this year and courts had imposed close to Rs5.5 million in 1,834 cases.
The department recovered more than Rs12.3 million from 1,914 challans served to violators this year.
Khan said that 299 cases were pending in court and the hearing of 8,443 cases was underway.
“Poaching will not be tolerated…we have adopted a zero-tolerance policy in this regard.”
He said all Wildlife Department officers had been directed to prosecute cases with full preparation so that they could be decided as early as possible.
“We will not let violators go scot free at any cost,” the director general said.