Chinkara case: Atram fails to show up at forest office

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Pune, Aug 11 (UNI) Former Maharashtra minister of transport and tribal development Dharmarao Atram today failed to show up at the district forest office branch at Saswad in Purandar tehsil to give a statement in connection with the chinkara poaching case.

The former minister, in a faxed message addressed to the Investigating Officer, Hanumant Dhumal said he couldn't be present for recording the statement, owing to traffic disruption due to heavy rains.

The District Forest Department had earlier sent him summons to record his statement today.

Mr Atram had resigned from his post after his name appeared in the killing of chinkara, an endangered species, near Chaudharwadi in Pune district on June 14, following recovery of bones and partially burnt hair of the animal from his farm house near Panchgani.

However, he had denied his involvement in the case.

The department has already arrested his close associate Mahesh Birmane and six others under section 51 of the wildlife protection act.

He was summoned on the basis of the statements of 32 people, who were interrogated so far in this case.

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