Madhya Pradesh ranks first in blackbuck poaching cases, with trials dating back to 1972.

Madhya Pradesh accounts for the most blackbuck killings, followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh . Forest department officials say only a handful of hunters have been found guilty of poaching .

BHOPAL: According to official statistics, Madhya Pradesh accounts for the most blackbuck killings, followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, while the forest department is having sluggish trials of over 170 blackbuck poaching cases in the last 39 years.Bhopal, Raisen, Sehore, and Guna circle, which spread across four districts, had healthy populations of all species of deer.Even with strict anti-hunting regulations, there are plenty of shooters whose meat fetish extends beyond chicken and lamb and who still see hunting as a sport.According to forest department officials, only about a handful of them have been found guilty.

Officials claim policemen killed by game hunters in Guna district on Friday night is just the tip of the iceberg, as forest areas close to the state capital have become a favorite blackbuck hunting ground.They had killed five blackbucks and a peacock before firing on the police force that tried to arrest them.Officials from the Wildlife Conservation Bureau (WCCB) claim that around 139 endangered blackbucks were killed in 13 states across the region between 2008 and 2018, with Madhya Pradesh accounted for the highest number of blackbuck deaths, followed by 25 in Karnataka and 24 in Uttar Pradesh.According to officers, the figure has only increased in the last four years.

Of the 170 blackbuck poaching cases pending for trial since 1972, Bhopal circle has the largest share of 46 cases, 15 of which occurred between 2013 and 2015.According to legal estimates, verdicts are, however, few and far between, not even 5%.Officers learned that a court in Chhindwara district had sentenced blackbuck poachers to three years in prison in one of the cases.In the last two years, Bhopal has seen only a few cases of blackbuck poaching.

Black buck has seen a steady decline in population since being spotted in abundance thanks to unbridled poaching.Under statute, only officers who fall below the rank of assistant director of wildlife protection or assistant conservator of forests have the authority to investigate.In November 2016, five special courts were established to investigate cases of wildlife protection.It yielded promising results.

They are on the PETA list of endangered animals.Around 80,000 blackbucks were collected around the region in 1947.Their population has slowed to a large extent recently.They are known for their soft coats and twisted horns.