Nagpur: Heads have started rolling in the tragic suicide case of Range Forest Officer (RFO) Deepali Chavan of Harisal Range Forest. Acting tough, the State Government on Friday evening suspended Gugamal Deputy Conservator of Forests (DyCF) Vinod Shivkumar who was dramatically arrested at Nagpur Railway Station in the morning. Also, the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Field Director, Melghat Tiger Project, M S Reddy has been shunted out from his post for neglecting her complaints.
Chavan had shot herself with her service revolver at her Government residence on Thursday. According to media reports, a postmortem conducted at Irwin General Hospital in Amravati on Friday revealed that she was five months pregnant. In her suicide note, Chavan had accused Shivkumar of harassment. The deceased RFO’s suicide note solely held Shivkumar responsible for her death for mental, physical, and economic harassment. The note also appealed to Reddy to release her stalled salary and all other monetary service benefits to her mother who will be all alone after her death. Her husband Rajesh Mohite and mother, on Friday, demanded action against both Reddy and Shivkumar. Social organizations and local leaders did not allow the post mortem to be performed till evening as they wanted Reddy to be made a co-accused.
The shaken State Government acted swiftly as the issue snowballed into political turmoil. Amravati Guardian Minister Yashomati Thakur, Leader of Opposition in Council Pravin Darekar had urged CM Uddhav Thackeray to take immediate action against Shivkumar and Reddy. Mohan Karemore of All India Hindu Mahasabha too demanded action.
The charge of Shivkumar has been handed over to DyCF Avinash Kumar, who is in-charge of Sipna division in MTR. Reddy has been posted at the PCCF office in Nagpur where he will work until his next posting. His charge has been handed over to Amravati CCF Pravin Chavan.
Forest union leaders too met head of forest force G Saiprakash and PCCF (wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar in Amravati and demanded suspension of both. The two top officials had rushed to Amravati on Friday. All the forest union leaders in respective circles in the state submitted memorandums demanding action against the two officials.