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Sansar Chand Finally Arrested

30th June 2005

The Delhi Police Crime Branch finally arrested the most notorious wildlife criminal in India, Sansar Chand, in Delhi today. The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) assisted the Crime Branch with information.

Sansar has probably been responsible for more tiger and leopard deaths than anyone else in India. He was born in 1958, and has been involved with the wildlife skin trade virtually all his life. He was first arrested at the age of 16, in September 1974, in a case involving tiger and leopard skins and 676 other wildlife skins. Sansar and his gang members have at least 57 court cases pending against them in nine states in India - Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, dating from September 1974 to April 2005. There are cases ­ and bail applications and appeals - that have been pending against him for up to 17 years.

Despite the large number of cases against Sansar and his colleagues, he has only received 2 convictions - for his first case in Delhi in 1974, and for a case in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, in January 2003. In April 2004, he was convicted to five years imprisonment for this case by the Ajmer courts. He appealed the conviction and three weeks later was granted bail. He was never seen again.

A key to Sansar Chand’s success is that his right-hand workers are usually family members. WPSI has identified 36 family members operating in his gang. Sansar’s wife, Rani Saini, a politician in Delhi, is presently in jail in Jaipur, accused in a seizure of leopard parts in October 2004. His son, Akash, is also in jail in Jaipur.

Now the court battle will begin. Four enforcement agencies (the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Delhi Police, Delhi Forest and Wildlife Department and the Rajajsthan Police) are gearing up to press for the custody of Sansar Chand.

The accused will be produced before a Judicial Magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest. WPSI will follow the case every step of the way and plans to intervene to oppose any bail applications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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