|Two tiger poachers nabbed, confess to killing five tigers in Melghat
Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Jun 10, 2013, 02.06 AM IST
The local crime branch (LCB) has nabbed two tiger poachers belonging to
the notorious Baheliya community. The two, who were nabbed from Mansar,
are part of a 30-member gang, which claims to have killed five tigers
in the region over the last one month and sold tiger skins to a trader
in North India.
The operation to nab the poachers was launched
on May 30 based on a tip-off to Nagpur IG from New Delhi. Police nabbed
the poachers on June 6 while they were finalizing a deal for a tiger
On June 7, the duo were handed over to the forest
department, which is further investigating the matter, after obtaining
custody of the duo till June 12. The poachers have been taken to
Melghat, where the gang reportedly killed the tigers.
branch PI RM Pali, who took action under the guidance of rural SP MK
Sharma, who is also chief of the district tiger cell, said the dreaded
poachers have been identified as Badlu (18) and Chika (20), both
hailing from Baheliya stronghold Katni. They are a part of a tiger
poaching gang that supplies tiger parts and skins to international
"The poachers have told us that their gang killed
five tigers in Vidarbha region over the last one month, and sold the
skins and bones eight days ago. We intercepted the gang on the basis of
call details records (CDRs) and Wildlife Protection Society of India
(WPSI) inputs. We nabbed them while they were striking a deal for a
skin. No skins have been seized from them as yet," said Pali.
officials who did want to be quoted said the poachers also confessed to
have killed a tiger in Mandla and Tumsar. Only a thorough probe would
reveal from where the tigers were killed.
Pali said even as the
deal was being settled, the poachers smelled a trap. Chika tried to run
away by jumping from the four-wheeler. He also jumped into a well to
hide, but was pulled out after a dramatic chase by policemen.
to sources, WPSI had first alerted forest officials in December 2012.
It had also sounded another alert for police and forest officials in
April, but the gang members gave a slip to both police and foresters.
On May 30, yet another alarm was raised, and this time police took no