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Two Markhor poachers held

CHITRAL, Officials of wildlife department arrested two college students for poaching and recovered two carcasses of Kashmir markhors from their possession here on Tuesday night.

A range officer of the department Irshad Ahmed said the watchers were put on red alert in the buffer zone between Chitral Gol National Park and Toshi Game Reserve due to the commencement of the hunting season.

He said the watchers intercepted Shakir Ahmed and Maqbool Azam of Pachili village, as both had hunted a markhor each. He said both the poachers offered stiff resistance to the officials but the villagers rushed to their help and overpowered them. Both were later handed over to local police.

About the hunted animals, Mr Ahmed said each markhor was three-year old and they had been shot from a close range. He said the police had registered a case against them under Section 5-b(2) of the Wildlife Act and 13/34 of Arms Ordinance. The official said the two were later released on bail by a local court.

The official said they had taken into possession the blood-stained clothes and rifles of the accused along with the carcasses of the hunted animals that would be produced in the court.

He claimed that poaching had been discouraged in the buffer zone and the local population was extending cooperation to the wildlife department in this regard.

Mr Ahmed said there were about 100 markhors in the zone. He said illegal hunting of the two animals had virtually deprived the local people of Rs9 million as the department used to sell the hunting permit of each markhor at Rs4.5 million and 80 per cent of this money would go to the local community for their collective development.--Dawn.. --Zahiruddin, 'DAWN' ,23 Dec 2010


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