|Notorious tiger poachers among 9 arrested in Pune
Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Aug 13, 2013
A team of Melghat forest officials netted nine tiger poachers from Pune
in the wee hours of Sunday. Among those arrested were prize catch Luchi
and veteran poacher Lupustan.
Sources said a forest department
team led by deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) Jitendra Ramgaonkar
had left for Pune on Friday after getting a tip off. They were also
following the call detail records (CDRs) of the poachers.
team zeroed in on the poachers from Bahelia tribe near Baner Fata on
Pune-Mumbai Expressway in the wee hours of Saturday and nabbed them.
The raid was supervised by Pune CCF Jeet Singh himself. Singh and
Ramgaonkar did not respond to repeated calls on Monday.
to Pune forest officials, coincidentally, the Wildlife Protection
Society of India (WPSI), a NGO working in wildlife enforcement, had
given an alert on Tuesday about presence of poachers at Baner Fata.
Desai, Central India director of WPSI, said, "I had alerted the forest
department but I'm not sure whether the poachers were nabbed because of
the WPSI alert. But it is a positive development. Such actions against
poachers will deter them from entering Maharashtra," said Desai.
forest officials have seized spears used to kill tigers from the gang.
The poachers were brought to Paratwada on Sunday and produced in the
court at Paratwada on Monday. All gang members were granted forest
custody remand (FCR) till August 16. The gang will be brought to Nagpur
in a day or two.
"Our team was on the trail of the gang based on
their mobile CDRs. Earlier, the team had been to Jabalpur in Madhya
Pradesh and Parali Vaijnath in Beed district of Marathwada, but could
not trace the poachers. Of the nine arrested, two are women and seven
men," said SWH Naqvi, principal chief conservator of forests
(wildlife), Maharashtra, on Monday.
Naqvi did not reveal the
names of the poachers, but said they were wanted in connection with the
killing of a tiger and bear at Masondi in Ghatang (East Melghat) in May.