Santipur, Feb. 12: Forest department has lodged a complaint against three persons in Nadia’s Santipur allegedly for killing two civet cats and for cooking its meat for a feast.
Acting on a tip-off about the alleged feast a team of forest officials conducted a raid in Govindapur village of Santipur on Sunday afternoon and recovered chopped flesh of the civets from a house while being cooked. The accused persons, however, managed to flee.
Santipur police have started a case against the trio on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Forest Department. Both police and Forest officials refused to disclose the identity of the trio ‘for sake of the investigation’.
Senior officials of Krishnanagr Forest Range could not ascertain how the wild cats were killed as they could only recover some chopped flesh and two burnt heads.
“We will send some recovered samples of flesh for identification of the species of the cats to the Zoological Survey of India’s laboratory in Calcutta”, Range Officer Payel Dutta told The NfN. This is also needed to ascertain how the animals were actually killed, she added.
The Civet cat is identified as an endangered animal in India due to its decreasing existence. It is enlisted in Schedule – 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1972.
Sources in the Forest department in Krishnanagar said that senior officials got a tip-off about the alleged feast organized by the accused persons and immediately rushed to the spot.
“We received a call about the feast with the meat of civet cats that were killed. We traced the meat but the accused persons managed to flee. So it couldn’t be ascertained when the cats were killed. We served notices naming the accused persons and asking them to appear before us. At the same time police complaint was also lodged”, Range officer Payel Dutta said.
This is not the first time civets are killed in Nadia’s Santipur. On earlier occasions also civet cats were killed which prompted the state forest department to launch an awareness drive in several forest adjacent areas urging the villagers not to kill the civets as it harmless in nature.
A Forest department officer of the Nadia-Murshidabad division said, “The large Indian civet during the night often evokes fear among people, but in reality, it is a shy animal and seldom attacks people unless attacked”.
Civets fed on hens and birds mostly but were seen eating sweet fruits, the officer added.
(In the picture: Forest Officials serving the summons to a family member of one of the accused persons. Picture by Abhi Ghosh)