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Lion Poaching Kingpin Arrested in MP

13.05.2009

On 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.

In 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.


 

 

 

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