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Tourism
MP Forest department lodges FIR against tiger’s radio collar hacker
02-10-2013

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh forest department on Monday lodged an FIR with the state cyber cell in Bhopal against a Pune-based cyber expert who tried to hack into the GPS collar fitted on a tiger in Satpura-Bori Tiger reserve in Hoshangabad division.

The issue over lodging FIR led to an ugly tussle between the state forest department and the Dehradun-based wildlife institute of India (WII) over jurisdiction of the case. Cyber criminals tried to hack login-ID of the portal, which had the location data of the collar-fitted tiger Panna-211. A complaint was lodged by the chief wildlife warden of MP, Narendra Kumar.

“We lodged the complaint considering the fact that the tiger whose collar was hacked belonged to our state. There is no confusion now. We want the accused to be arrested,” Kumar said.

An FIR into the hacking attempt was recommended by WII scientist K Ramesh during a meeting with the state forest officials at Bhopal on September 16. This matter was brought to light by Wildlife activist Ajay Dubey, after collecting minutes of the meeting through RTI.

It was on Thursday that WII sent an e-mail to the Kumar asking him to lodge an FIR in MP as it was a matter of their jurisdiction. But Kumar replied to the WII mail, maintaining his stand on the decision that it’s a case of cyber-crime and doesn’t fall in MP’s jurisdiction.

The hacked collar on Panna-211, the code for the tiger that was relocated from Panna tiger reserve to Satpura-Bori stopped working from July 24.

Since the hacking attempt, the war of words intensified as MP forest officials claimed they were denied password of the satellite communication portal for tracking the big cat’s movements. The wildlife brass in Dehradun on the other hand alleged the Panna-211 tiger was shifted to another reserve without informing them.