Arrested Municipal engineer interrogated inside the core area of forests
The arrested engineer of the Jalpaiguri Municipality was taken to the Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary of North Bengal for identification of core areas of the forests frequented by him to click pictures and shoot videos.
The Forest Department is also investigating whether he has any connection with animal part smugglers or poachers.
On November 18, Jasoprakas Debdas, the Municipal Engineer, along with two associates were arrested from Karbala Tea Estate in Banarhaat, around 60 km from Jalpaiguri town.
Debdas used to frequent core areas of Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Chapramari forest without permission. He allegedly used to disturb animals, shoot videos and pictures and upload them on social networking sites.
"We took the arrested to the areas he used to frequent and asked him to show us locations where he had shot the animal videos and pictures" stated Nisha Goswami, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO,) Jalpaiguri talking to Oneindia.
When questioned on whether they have found any links between Debdas and animal poachers or animal part smugglers, Goswami stated "We are probing that angle too. Nothing can be divulged at this point as investigation is on."
Incidentally on being arrested the trio were produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Sunday and sent to a day of Judicial Custody.
They were again produced on Monday. The Forest department prayed for 10 days of custody. The court remanded the three accused to the custody of the Forest department for 7 days.
On November 22, the Jalpaiguri Municipality suspended Debdas. "We have suspended the Municipal engineer Jasoprakas Debdas. He will remain suspended till he is acquitted by the Court.
Debdas used to also fly drones in the core area of the forests to shoot videos. Debdas's collection includes videos and photos include elephants, bison, peacocks and other exotic birds. They were charged under different sections of the Wildlife Conservation Act and Information and Technology Act.