|Animal parts smuggler held
Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi, 10th August, 2009
goes without a surname, perhaps to escape easy detection. He is the
younger brother of Sansar Chand, widely held by wildlife authorities
and experts as India’s biggest animal parts trader. He ran out of luck
Rajasthan forest officials arrested him at the Tis
Hazari courts on Thursday when he came for a hearing in the trial of
his brother. And he is now telling a story, said officials, which could
put his elder brother to shame.
“He has confessed to trading in
body parts of 14 tigers and 20 leopards in the last 18 months,” said a
Rajasthan forest department official, refusing to be identified as he
was not authorised to speak to reporters.
“Forest officials from
Uttarakhand have interrogated him and are taking necessary action,”
said K.K. Garg, field director of Sariska Tiger Reserve, where forest
officials are interrogating Narayan.
Narayan took over the
family trade — spread across six states from Karnataka to Uttarakhand —
after the arrest in 2005 of both his elder brothers, Sansar Chand and
They don’t kill animals themselves. They simply put
out their requirement -- with the price they are willing to pay --
among actual poachers who mostly live around the reserves and
Wildlife authorities and experts were most worried
about Narayan’s alleged confession that he bought body parts of 10
tigers and leopards from Ram Nagar, a locality on the edge of Corbett
Reserve in Uttarakhand.
“His reported confession is scary,” said
Belinda Wright of Wildlife Protection Society of India. “Corbett is
remote, poachers can easily enter and kill tigers and leopards.”
International Union for Conservation of Nature rated Corbett the best
tiger reserve in India based on a 2006 count. With 92 big cats -- one
every 5.66 sq km -- it has the highest density of tigers.
It lost four of its tigers in 2009, among the 47 killed all over India.