BAHAWALPUR: A court in Yazman (Bahawalpur district) has imposed Rs620,000 fine on five people for illegal hunting of deer and hares in Cholistan.

The group of poachers, including influential people from Lahore and Gujranwala, was taken into custody by personnel of the Desert Rangers when they tried to flee toward the prohibited India-Pakistan border area of Cholistan. They were chased down before they could cross the border to avert their arrest.

The Rangers handed them over to the wildlife department officials. Later, the Yazman police detained the suspects and produced them in court after confiscating their weapons and impounding the vehicle.

It is learnt the officials recovered the two slaughtered deer, hares and birds.

The Yazman court imposed a fine of Rs620,000 on the suspects but the case of possessing illegal arms and the vehicle was yet to be decided.

Wildlife Deputy Director (Bahawalpur division) Usman Ali Bokhari told Dawn that there was immense pressure to let the influential people off the hook. He claimed one of the poachers was a minister’s brother.

He said the court had still to decide the case of illegal arms and the impounded double-cabin vehicle of the convicted hunters.

Sources said the wildlife department officials initially avoided to arrest the illegal hunters from Lahore and other parts of Punjab, allowing them a free hand to engage in illegal activity in Cholistan. The deputy director, however, denied laxity on part of the wildlife officials and said the Desert Rangers took the suspects into custody in the border area and handed them over to the department for action.

Several incidents of illegal hunting took place in the past in Cholistan which has very few deer, blue bull and other animals and birds which come here from the Rajasthan.

DOUBLE MURDER: A woman and her minor daughter were allegedly strangled to death at their house at Mohallah Niazian in Lodhran on Wednesday.

Niaz Ahmed said unidentified men killed his daughter Shazia Bibi and granddaughter Zohra Bibi, 5, and when he visited their house, he found the dead bodies of the mother and daughter while Shazia’s two-year-old son Faizan was sitting on another charpoy.

He stated that when he entered her house, his son-in-law Falaksher and another person also came there but disappeared soon.

The Kahrore Pucca city police registered a case No 559/22 under section 302 of PPC and sent the dead bodies for postmortem examination.

SHEPHERD: Rescue 1122 personnel on Wednesday recovered the dead body of a shepherd who fell into a manhole.

Ata Muhammad, 60, fell into the manhole while shepherding his cattle on Tuesday and rescuers made repeated attempts to find a clue but failed. A team eventually recovered the dead body of the man and handed it over to the family.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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