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Maharashtra minister resigns over chinkara killing

July 07, 2008 17:31 IST

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Maharashtra minister of state for transport Dharmaraobaba  Atram, from whose Panchgani farmhouse chinkara bones and guns were seized, has submitted his resignation to Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil. 

The minister has handed over his resignation to Patil, who is the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, sources in Atram's office said. 

The chinkara case has been haunting Atram for the last few days, and he has finally submitted his resignation. Forest officials and the police had raided Atram's farmhouse on July 5. 

He is the second minister from the Vilasrao Deshmukh government to have resigned over an unsavoury incident. Earlier, Surupsingh Naik, a senior Cabinet minister, faced one month's imprisonment for giving improper permission to saw mills.

Last month, the state transport minister and his friends had allegedly killed two chinkaras. Some villagers near Bhor taluka reported seeing the minister and his friend partying after killing the chinkaras. 

Police and forest officials are investigating the case. If found guilty, the minister and his friends will be booked under the Wildlife Protection Act as chinkaras are an endangered species. 

Earlier, Shiv Sena leaders had demanded a Central Bureau Investigation inquiry into the chinkara killings and had demanded the resignation of the state forest minister Babanrao Pachpute for shielding them. Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari had demanded the resignation of the minister on Sunday.




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