|Lion Poaching Kingpin Arrested in MP
10 May 2009, the alleged leader of the poaching gang that killed eight
lions in and around Gir National Park, Gujarat, in 2007 was arrested by
the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department with the assistance of Wildlife
Protection Society of India (WPSI).
A resident of Shahmagar near
Panna, Mintar Singh has been absconding for the past two years despite
a massive search in both states.
The Divisional Forest Officer
of Katni, Mr A.K. Baroniya, led the team of the Madhya Pradesh Forest
Department along with WPSI personnel, and Mintar was arrested on the
border of Katni and Panna District. He was handed over to the Gujarat
CID who arrived in Katni on Sunday, and will stand trial in Gujarat.
one of the most high-profile wildlife cases in recent times, 36 members
of the lion poaching gang have already been convicted in Gujarat to
three to four years imprisonment. The case was handed over to the
Gujarat CID (Crime) on the intervention of the Gujarat Chief Minister,
Mr Narendra Modi.
The poachers used spring iron traps, usually
used to kill tigers, and poisonous spears to slaughter the lions and it
is believed to be the first time that Asiatic lions have been targeted
by professional big cat poachers. It is hoped that the arrest of Mintar
will reveal more details of the killing of one of the most endangered
mammals on this planet, including who the lion bones were sold to.