Even after the arrest of 49 persons in the alleged Edamalayar poaching case, the Forest Department is yet to file the chargesheet in 20 cases registered in various parts of the state. When the department had divested the investigation officer in charge of the probe team under the Malayattoor division from the charge of investigation in the beginning of December following some allegation against him, the officials had indicated that chargesheet in the case would be filed in a month. However even two months after the appointment of new officer, the forest department is yet to file the chargesheet in the case. Earlier, the officials had announced that they would file chargesheet in as many as six out of the total 20 poaching cases registered under various forest stations by January third week. And chargesheet in the rest of the poaching cases will be filed based on the progress in preparing chargesheet of remaining cases. Speaking to ‘Express, Thundathil Forest Range officer P K Rajesh said: “we are still in the process of preparing the chargesheet.
The chargesheet in one case would be filed soon. he said. When asked about the undue delay in preparing the chargesheet, Rajesh said he took over charge only recently and is striving hard to file the chargesheet as soon as possible”. The department has already sent the samples of the ivory tusk artifacts seized from the arrested to Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to ascertain whether they were made of elephant tusk. Recently, the department had convened a meeting of investigating officials to review the progress of investigation and status of chargesheets to be filed in the the Kothamangalm CJM court in the poaching cases registered mainly in Malayattur, Vazhachal and Munnar forest divisions in the state. The meeting also decided to file the first batch of chargesheet by the end of January. However, the officials couldn’t complete the work on the chargesheet and it got delayed further.