Following inspection by the forest department, 28 snares were found inside the film city premises.
Mumbai: The Thane forest department arrested one more person in the case of metal snares used for wildlife was found inside the Film City area last week. After the incident, five persons were arrested for the same. On Monday, the accused were produced before the Borivali metropolitan magistrate court.
The accused, identified as Ganpat Dalvi, Rahul Habale, Dashrath Habale, Anil Bhoye, Mohan Bhoye and Sandesh Bhovre have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
“The accused have confessed about planting the snares. Although they did not clearly reveal the reasons behind it, but we suspect that they have been involved in wildlife trade,” said Jitendra Ramgaonkar, deputy conservator of forest, Thane.
The Asian Age had reported earlier this week that the decomposed carcasses of a three-year-old leopard and an adult Sambar were found in the Film City studio premises. While eleven of the leopard’s claws were missing, the sambar’s head was nowhere to be seen. Following inspection by the forest department, 28 snares were found inside the film city premises.
Meanwhile an NGO Plant and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) has written to the state forest department seeking an enquiry against the Film City management. “Even when these animals were trapped, it is suspected that the leopard must have not died on the same day. How the management of the Film City was unaware of this?” said Nalini Subramanian, vice-president of PAWS.
In the wake of the incident, the forest department is also making efforts to strengthen patrolling in the area, after suspicion of probable poaching attempts at the site. Along with the security force of the Film City, the department is making a permanent patrolling schedule.