Forest guard shot dead in MP; lens on poachers, timber mafia

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Dewas (MP), Feb 5 (PTI) A forest beat guard on patrolling duty was shot dead by unidentified persons in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district, a police official said on Friday.

Police suspect poachers or timber mafia members were behind the killing of Madanlal Verma in the Punjapura reserve forest on Thursday.

Verma (58) was on patrolling duty in the Choti Tali area but failed to return home till late evening after which forest officials launched a search for him, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Rural Suryakant Sharma said.

The officials found Verma lying dead in the forest with a bullet injury, he said.

Initial probe has revealed the victim had confronted his assailants, who fired at him from a country-made weapon, the ASP said, adding the murder may be the handiwork of poachers or timber mafia members.

A case under section 302 (murder) of the IPC has been registered against unidentified persons at the Udaynagar police station, he said.

The police have constituted three teams for tracing and arresting the attackers, Sharma said.

Meanwhile, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Dewas, P N Mishra, said a post-mortem of the victim's body is being conducted at Uday Nagar health centre.

Efforts are on to accord Verma the status of a martyred forest employee, he said, adding his last rites will be performed with full state honours at his hometown Ujjain.

The victim's kin will be provided a special allowance of Rs 10 lakh and a job on compassionate grounds as per government rules, Mishra added. PTI COR MAS ARU RSY RSY