|Red alert in Maharashtra as poachers get order for 25 tigers
Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | May 16, 2012
With tiger poachers from the Bahelia community of Katni in Madhya
Pradesh planning to strike it rich in Maharashtra, specially in
Vidarbha region, the state government has sounded a red alert.
reports say that Bahelia gangs have been ordered to kill 25 tigers for
their skins. These gangs have also been paid an advance of Rs 40 lakh,"
Praveen Pardeshi, state principal secretary (forests), told TOI.
last year, in international markets, a tiger skin would fetch $20,000,
which is over a crore of rupees at today's rates. Their body parts like
nails, hair, bones are sold at the rate of $1200 per kg which converts
to about Rs 6.50 lakhs.
Bahelias are known for killing tigers
with the help of metal traps. Experts say members from this community
simultaneously operate at multiple locations at a given time anywhere
in the country and are ruthless in their approach.
the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau's (WCCB) headquarter in Delhi, which
should be playing a proactive role in such matters, is unaware about
the alert. M Maranko, WCCB's regional deputy director based in Mumbai,
said the regional office is not empowered to issue such alerts but
admitted that bureau's Delhi officials are investigating the tiger
poaching case that occurred on April 26 in Palasgaon on the periphery
of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve ( TATR) in Chandrapur district.
the contrary, SB Negi, the joint director of WCCB said from Delhi that
no alert has been sounded from "our office". "If the state government
seeks help we are ready to probe the case," Negi said. This brings to
fore the indifferent attitude of the WCCB towards poaching of tigers.
Pardeshi has put on alert all the territorial and wildlife wing
officials in the state directing them to monitor all water holes daily.
He has also asked them to take help of volunteers and wildlife buffs.