|I killed 7 big cats: Poacher
27 Sept 2007
Times of India
Notorious poacher and tiger skin smuggler Laxman Pardhi, who was
arrested by the forest department and police personnel from Chanera
village in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, has confessed to have
killed seven big cats.See the original story here
Earlier, it was reported that Laxman was directly involved in the
poaching of five wild cats four years ago. However, top official
sources on Wednesday said the number is not five but seven - three
tigers and four leopards. Laxman made this confession to investigating
officers during his forest custody remand (FCR) which expired on
September 23. Laxman has been sent to magisterial custody remand (MCR)
till October 2.
Laxman, arrested 10 days ago, has also confessed to having links with
international tiger skin smuggler Sansarchand. "He has accepted his
role in direct killings besides acting as a carrier and supplier of
traps and vehicles," B S Hooda, field director and conservator of
forests, Melghat Tiger Reserve, told TOI.
Meanwhile, the forest department personnel have obtained the custody of
woman poacher Kamla Chavan who was in magisterial custody. She was
arrested on September 3.
"Kamla is now in the custody of Jarida forest range officials. Earlier,
Chaurakund range officials recorded her statements. Her custody would
be obtained by forest officials of ranges to locate exact sites where
the crime was committed," said Hooda. "We would also seek FCR of Laxman
so that the cases against both of them are made intact," he added.
Meanwhile, department sources said Laxman poached wild cats and used to
skin them at his or Kamla’s house. Then, both used to take the
skin to Delhi to Sansarchand or look for dealers at Dharni. These
dealers are now on the run.
Meanwhile, Kishor Rithe, president of Satpuda Foundation, said: "We
have been crying hoarse for past 10 years that the situation in Melghat
is alarming and steps to curb poaching activity must be taken up on a
war-footing. However, when we raised the issue in 1999, top officials
denied that poachers were active in Melghat."
Rithe added that the NGOs’ fears have come true with the arrests
of Laxman and Kamla. However, he said, these arrests are just a tip of
the iceberg and the issue needs to probed comprehensively. "These
poachers are strong enough to wriggle free with money power," Rithe