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Notorious Tiger Poacher Convicted

 
28 July, 2010.
 
New Delhi: In a major victory for tiger conservation in India, notorious tiger poacher Dariya and his wife Bhagwati were convicted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 today by Justice A.K. Dwivedi, Judicial Magistrate First Class in Sihora, Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The trial of this case has been pending for more than 21 years. The prosecution of this case was conducted on behalf of the Forest Department by Advocate Ms Manjula Shrivastava, a lawyer of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).
 
Dariya has been sentenced to 3 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000/- for violations of sections 9, 39 and 51 of the Act while his wife Bhagwati has been sentenced to the same quantum of punishment, with one and a half years of probation, for violations of sections 9, 51 and 52 of the Act. This is one of the few cases in which a person has been convicted for abetment of offences under Section 52 of the Act.
 
The case itself dates back to 1988 when Dariya and his wife, along with 7 other accomplices, were arrested in Bahoriband range of the then Jabalpur Territorial Division in Madhya Pradesh and 1 tiger skin, tiger bones, 4 tiger paws, 3 cans of tiger fat, 1 hyena skin and 8 spring traps were seized from them. Unfortunately, all the accused were granted bailed and subsequently absconded, leaving the trial of the case pending for more than 21 years.
 
Dariya was arrested again on 28th April 2008 at Corbett Tiger Reserve with 2 tiger traps and other poaching equipment, but was once again granted bail after a few months. On 27 March 2009, officers of the Katni Forest Division arrested Dariya and his wife in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, based on information provided by WPSI. Both were posing as beggars in a market in Ramnagar when they were arrested.
 
Dariya and his wife are both residents of Samalkha, Panipat district in Haryana. The notorious wildlife criminal Sansar Chand allegedly mentioned Dariya as an expert poacher during his interrogation by the CBI in 2005.
 
According to information available with WPSI, in the last decade (2000-2009) over 882 people have been accused in tiger cases (including tiger poaching and the seizure of tiger parts) but only 18 people have been convicted for tiger related offences in 6 court cases so far. This conviction is one more such rare instance, and comes fresh on the heels of the seizure of a tiger skin by the Chandur Railway Police in Maharashtra on 27 July 2010.

 

 

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