| Ivory Poachers to Remain
5th August, 2004
Four men, arrested
for the possession of 28 kg of ivory in Corbett Tiger
Reserve, on 30 June 2004, were sentenced to a further
14-day judicial remand by the Judicial Magistrate, Ramnagar.
A team from the Wildlife Protection Society of India
(WPSI) was at Ramnagar to assist the Forest Department
when the case was heard court on 27 July 2004. Arguing
for the Forest Department, WPSI lawyer Pankaj Kumar
Singh pointed out to the court that the cut pieces of
ivory came from three tusks, while only one elephant
skeleton had been recovered. Investigations would remain
incomplete till the second dead elephant had been found.
Convinced by the argument, Judicial Magistrate Mr.
B.B. Pandey extended the remand for a further 14 days.
This extension will give the Corbett Tiger Reserve authorities
time to finish their investigation in a case full of
intriguing twists and turns.
It appears at least
one of the elephants was shot by Rai Sikh poachers around
two years ago and its tusks and those of another elephant
were collected by Gujjars. The ivory was split into
two lots, one of which was buried. Mastu Gujjar and
a trader, Hamid, were arrested by Range Officer Satish
Chandra Upadhyay with one lot of the ivory on 30 June
2004. The buried ivory was recovered the same day, when
Gani and Manga were arrested.