Notorious tiger poacher Totha Ram arrested
TNN 18 November 2009, 05:55pm IST
NEW DELHI: A notorious tiger poacher from Panipat, Birbal alias Totha Ram, was arrested on Wednesday in Banbasa at Champawat district of Uttarakhand in a joint operation of the Uttarakhand police and forest department with assistance from the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).
Totha Ram, who is the leader of a bawaria poaching gang, was arrested along with a local associate. A tiger trap, another half-made trap, two deer antlers, knives and skinning tools, a net, two mobile phones and a motorcycle were recovered from them. Totha Ram has been arrested twice before - in May 2003 with poaching tools, and in August 2004 with a tiger skin (this was also a WPSI assisted case). He was out on bail from the 2004 case and is believed to have been camping in Banbasa with the intention of killing a tiger.
"We are delighted with this case, particularly since it appears that this poacher was caught just before he was able to kill a tiger. It is another example of how important it is to stop the activities of habitual poachers, who continue to carry out their illegal activities even while out on bail", said Belinda Wright, executive director of WPSI.
Totha Ram comes from a family of tiger poachers. His sister Dilpo was recently convicted to five years rigorous imprisonment by a court in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, for a 1992 tiger case. She had earlier been convicted in November 2005, by a court in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, for carrying the skin and bones of a tiger that was killed at Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in February 2005.