CBI busts poachers’ gang; tiger skins seized
Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, November 07, 2009
First Published: 16:24 IST(7/11/2009)
Last Updated: 16:34 IST(7/11/2009)
With the arrest of five persons and seizure of tiger skins and bones from a train, CBI sleuths have busted a major inter-state poachers’ gang. The sleuths feel that the gang has been active in the central India’s tribal belt for years.
In a well-planned operation, a team of CBI from Delhi raided the Samparkranti Express and seized skins and bones, valued over Rs 50-lakh. The team got concrete information that a gang of poachers operating from the Vidarbha region was supplying tiger skins and bones to some smugglers in the national capital and other metros in the country. They identified the forest areas from where the tribal kill the big cats and sell their skins and bones to the middlemen. The team also procured the cell phone numbers of the poachers. After tracing the locations of the poachers, the team arrived in the city three days ago. With the assistance of their local counterparts and state police, the team boarded the train from Ballarshah and started following the alleged poachers.
As soon as the train arrived on platform No 1 on Thursday at Nagpur station, the officials, with the help of local police, surrounded the coach and nabbed the culprits. The central agency feels that an inter-state poachers’ gang is very active in central India’s tribal belt and using Nagpur as its logistic headquarters. There are at least five tiger reserves--- Kanha, Pench (Madhya Pradesh), Tadoba, and Melghat are located within 250 km periphery from Nagpur.
Those arrested were identified as: Charandas (30) from Ludhiana, Amit Kumar (22) from Rampur (UP), Ranjit (50) from Hoshiarpur (Punjab), Sadhu (24) of Haryana and Ram Swarup (19) of Jammu. “The CBI team was working on a specific information and following the suspicious persons for the last couple of days and finally nabbed them at Nagpur station,” John Thomas, superintendent of police, CBI, Vidarbha region informed.
Both the tiger skins and bones seemed fresh and looked not more than a week old. “We found two bullet marks in one of the skins and there were stint smell in both the skins that indicated that both the tigers were killed a few days ago,” he said. Both were seven-feet full-grown tigers. “We are not in a position to divulge the details as we feel that it will lead us to reach the mastermind of the inter-state racket .”
All the five persons were produced before the court of chief judicial magistrate and got transit remand till November 11.