Ex-colonel suspect in smuggling
Retired Lt Col Ashutosh Tripathi will be named as the prime suspect in the alleged smuggling of feral horses from Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, in the forest department’s final offence report, as he has not responded or appeared before the investigating officers despite receiving two summons.
Tinsukia divisional forest officer Rajendra Singh Bharti told The Telegraph, “We served him two summons so could question him on the alleged crime, but he failed to show up. Now, we will name him as the prime accused in our final offence report.”
A forest department source said Tripathi was the prime suspect in the case where six feral horses were allegedly smuggled from the park to a polo club in Guwahati on March 2.
The horses were rescued from Makum bypass in Tinsukia district and four persons were arrested.
There are allegations of him being involved in several similar offences.
The source said Tripathi lives in Guwahati and was into the hospitality business now. Efforts to contact Tripathi proved futile.
The park, 521km from here, is known for its huge population of feral horses.