Geeta Pawar, a woman who recently joined the Navegaon National Park in Gondia district of Maharashtra as the assistant conservator of forest (ACF), caught three people involved in fishing in the core area of the park on Sunday night, along with her team.
ACF Geeta, along with some women from the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) team, were patrolling around the area when they found Kashiram Gedam (55), Purshottam Kodwate (30), and Rajendra Kodwate (23) fishing in the lake in the park. All of them are residents of the relocated Kalimati village.
The women members in the team had joined work only two days ago and were still waiting to undergo formal training, but they performed their duty amazingly well and arrested the accused.
“Under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972, this qualifies for hunting and illegal entry in tiger reserve,” Conservator of Forests (CF) and Field Director Ravikiran Govekar told The Times of India.
Prior to this, ACF Geeta and her team had fought against a gang of 12 poachers from Wangi village on March 27. They were sneaking into the park to hunt wild animals during night. Out of the 58 STPF guards who have been selected for the Nagzira Navegaon Tiger Reserve, 50% are women and they are all giving their best to keep the area safe from poachers.
Patrolling during the night had been going on for a week because poachers are active during this time. A preliminary offence report (POR) has been registered against the men.