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Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiger supari case: Poachers hunted down, 18 arrested

Source: DNA | Last Updated 05:20(27/05/12) Bhopal: Following intelligence input about poachers’ prowl to kill 25 tigers across India as contract killing, the state forest officials detained 18 nomads hailing from Bihar, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in last 24 hours. The detentions were made in Panna, Chindwara, Katni and Shivpuri districts. Intelligence sources have gathered information that an international poaching racket has given `40 lakh to poachers—mostly Pardhis, and Baheliyas—to kill 25 tigers in India. Since then, governments in the states where tigers exist are on high alert. One of the detainees, arrested from buffer zone of Pench tiger reserve, confessed to having killed a tiger - possibly the one that had strayed from Ranthambore National Park to Shivpuri district. While eight of the suspects were detained in Chindwara late on Friday night, 10 more were arrested from near the Panna tiger reserve. Metal traps, nets and sharp edged weapons, eight motor bikes and a Gypsy jeep were recovered from their possession. The officials also recovered some samples of hair from the metal traps which have been sent for scientific examination for identification of the species to the forensic laboratory in Hyderabad. The arrests in Chindwara district were made by officials of Pench tiger reserve and local forest department. The accused have been identified as Sanjesh of Shivpuri, Zilendar Giri of Sarguja in Chhattisgarh and Rai Singh, Dharma, Dhara, Ishwar, Jorawar and Kismat , all from Chhitorgarh in Rajasthan. Senior officials including principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) wildlife P K Shukla rushed to Chhindwara. The suspects are being interrogated for more details. During interrogation, Sanjesh reportedly confessed to killing an adult tiger at Shivpuri and having sold its skin to three persons in the district. The forest officials also raided some places in Shivpuri “All of them are nomads from different states. How they ganged up is yet to be ascertained,” PCCF Shukla told. Their role in poaching activities in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Charndrapur district in Maharashtra is yet to be ascertained. The officials of TATR have reached Chindwara to interrogate the accused. Officials of Panna tiger reserve (PTR) arrested eight persons belonging to the Kirodi community of Bihar. Park director R Srinavasa Murty told that they were arrested from beat 228 during routine patrolling on Friday.

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