SHAHJAHANPUR: Forest officials at Dudhwa tiger reserve have given a complaint to cops at Motipur police station asking them to book international golfer Jyoti Randhawa and Mahesh Birajdar, a former Navy captain, under stringent provisions of the Arms Act too. On Wednesday, the forest officials had recovered a telescope-mounted .22 rifle fitted with a silencer, 80 cartridges, a range finder, carcass of a jungle fowl and hide of a sambar from them in Motipur range of Dudhwa tiger reserve’s Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary in Bahraich district. They were arrested and booked for violation of the wildlife protection Act.
Ramesh Pandey, field director, Dudhwa tiger reserve, said, “We have asked the police to book Randhawa under the Arms Act for misusing his firearms in the reserve forest area. We will send the gun for ballistic examination at a laboratory in Lucknow, viscera sample to IVRI in Bareilly and hide of sambar to WTI.”
Katarniyaghat divisional forest officer Gyan Prakash Singh told TOI, “Entry with firearms, even the licensed ones, is prohibited in the tiger reserve. Golfer Jyoti Randhawa and Mahesh Birajdar unlawfully entered the forest area where Randhawa used his rifle to kill protected wild animals. The cops are taking legal opinion on the sections to be included in the FIR.”
Bahraich senior superintendent of police Gaurav Grover said, “A complaint against golfer Jyoti Randhawa was given at the Motipur police station by the forest department and filing of the FIR is in progress. The accused will be booked under section 30 (punishment for contravention of arms license) of the Arms Act.”
Motipur SHO Pradeep Gaur said that he had received a written complaint from the forest department and he is in process of registering the complaint against Randhawa. A joint team of forest and police departments had visited a farmhouse belonging to Randhawa’s father in Nainiha village of Bahraich on Friday.