The beat officer of the Shiltorsa beat under the Jaldapara North Range in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal was found dead under mysterious conditions. The body of the forester who had gone missing since Wednesday evening was found in the jungle in the wee hours of Thursday.
58 year old Uttam Sarkar had left the Jaldapara North Range office at around 5 pm for the Shiltorsa beat office where he was posted. When he failed to arrive at his office, the staff of his office started calling him.
Sarkar was not responding to phone calls. When the staff called up his residence, they were told that he had left for office. The worried staff launched a search for Sarkar. Trained elephants were also use to search for him deep inside the forest. However there was no trace of Sarkar.
At around 1 am on Thursday, Sarkar's motorbike was spotted besides the road in the GP 1 Anchal inside the Jaldapara National Park. A few yards away in the jungle, his lifeless body was spotted. The body bore injury marks.
The police were informed. Police recovered the body. The dead body was then sent to the Alipurduar District hospital for post mortem.
"Prima facie it seems that Sarkar could have been killed by rhinoceros. However we will have to wait for the post mortem report for confirmation on how he died. All possible assistance will be provided to the family of the deceased" stated Bimal Debnath, Assistant Wildlife Warden, Jaldapara National Park.
Sarkar had worked for more than 30 years in the forest department. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
There has been an increase in the population of the Asiatic one horned rhinoceros in the Jaldapara National Park. There are around 186 such rhinoceros in this Park.
Jaldapara National Park is a national park situated at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in the Alipurduar District of West Benga. It is located on the banks of the Torsa River and has an area of 216.5 sq kms.