Six Including Ranger, Forester Arrested Over ‘Poacher’s Death In Custody

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Athagarh: Police on Wednesday arrested six forest department officials including a ranger and forester in connection with the death of a man in custody of forest department here in Cuttack district.

Badamba police nabbed Ranger Subrat Behera, Forester Manoj Das, Deepak Sethi, Forest Guards Sunayak Majhi, Kuna Behera and Prabhat Pradhan in connection with the death of Dhaneswar Behera.

Police also seized four sticks used in beating up to Dhaneswar. Two Bolero jeeps have also been seized, police said.

Dhaneswar Behera (59), a resident of Khuntakata Satagochhia village, was picked up by forest department officials of Athagarh area for allegedly poaching a tusker and removing its tusks.

However, Dhaneswar was found dead while in forest department custody following which irate villagers staged a road blockade at Badabasuni Chhak.

Deceased’s wife Tulasi had alleged that her husband was hacked to death by forest officials. Irked over the incident, the mob also set fire to the forest beat house.

The forest department agreed to pay ₹ 4.79 lakh compensation to the family of the man and a job for his son.

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