Poacher shot dead in Rajaji Park

Rajaji National Park director SS Rasaily said on Thursday that a forest department employee who was patrolling the area encountered a group of about a dozen persons armed with spears and firearms atop a ridge in the Dhaulkhand area which is part of the core zone of the national park. When challenged, one of them opened fire at the forest guard. The guard fired a round in the air to scare the intruders away. But the bullet hit a resident of Bullawala village, Babu Lal, who died, while others in the group escaped.

The director claimed that the group had entered the core zone with the intention of poaching and had taken Babu Lal along as a guide and for the task of skinning and cutting the animal that they poached.

The forest guard had fired in self-defence on Wednesday, it was stated. The RNP director said the man was part of a group of persons who had entered the core zone of RNP with the intention of poaching, especially tigers which are known to inhabit the Dhaulkhand area.

The police has, however, registered a case of murder against the Rajaji National Park director for the death of Babu Lal, because a large number of villagers had reached the site of the incident when the RNP director and Doiwala SHO were on the spot. Some of the villagers alleged that Babu Lal had gone to the forest to collect grass used for making brooms.

However, the RNP director denied these claims while countering the villagers’ claim that the men had entered the forest area to collect grass. According to Rasaily, it is strange that the group of persons carrying spears and a firearm travelled a distance of about 15 km from the village through rough jungle terrain and crossed a ridge purportedly to cut and collect a type of grass which is found commonly in various areas, including on the outskirts of the village. The Dhaulkhand area, which is part of the core zone of the RNP, is known for tigers.

The RNP administration also plans to file an FIR against the persons who were part of the group of poachers involved in the altercation which resulted in the death of Babu Lal.


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