Saturday, February 28, 2009

Poacher’s conviction : Hard work spelt success for cops

Poacher's conviction : Hard work spelt success for cops
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik & Parth Shastri
Print Edition

Ahmedabd : It was a moment of satisfaction for a huge team of police, forensic science and forest department officials, who worked for months, when the third and final group of 16 poachers were convicted by Bhavnagar court on Thursday morning.

It is the first instance in the country where due to watertight case against the accused, not a single poacher got bail and all of them got convicted due to strong evidence collected with the help of forensic experts. Officials involved with the case believe that the conviction will prevent future offences.

Keshav Kumar, the then IG, CID (Crime), who was in-charge of the investigation, told TOI that the case was unique. "For the first time, a wildlife crime investigation came to CID. Right from the matchbox found in the forest to the lion nail clippings found from the spot became important evidence that convicted the accused,"he said.

He added that all the evidences were collected with the help of forensic science experts and everything was documented properly. "We sought help of forensic experts in every step. When the accused were caught, the first thing we did was to remove shirts of some of the accused. By examining them forensic experts could tell us that there were lion blood stains," he said.

The case was also a success for forensic scientist. JM Vyas, director , Directorate of Forensic Science (DFC), Gandhinagar said that the case has become a study on crime scene management and evidence collection. "We had to examine an area spanning over acres. The department's deputy director MS Dahiya camped for a fortnight in the forest and collected all important evidences and documented it. Narco analysis was also performed on some of the accused," he said.

With the help of scientific tools, CID officials recreated the crime scene to know how the lions were killed. "A trap was laid. Once the animal fell into it, a spear with methyl parathion was inserted in its mouth, killing the lion. The bones were then taken away and sold in the international market. A dead lion can fetch more than Rs 50 lakh in an international marker,' said an official involved with the investigation.

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