|Notorious Tiger Poacher Convicted
28 July, 2010.
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.
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.
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.