1 more nabbed for Bhanderiya lion poaching
Times of India
CID officials from Bhavnagar have nabbed one more poacher belonging to the gang that poached two lions in Jesar-Bhanderiya in 2007. Dora alias Daru Parghi, 30, was caught from the jungles of Katni in Madhya Pradesh on July 17.
Police was granted 10 days custody when he was presented in Palitana court on Tuesday. "We had specific information about Dora. Our team travelled to Katni,100 km from Jabalpur, with a CRP team. We caught him from the jungle, obtained journey warrant from the local court and brought him to Bhavnagar.
Police inspector of Bhavnagar CID Lalubha Jadeja said, "Dora is closely associated with Prabhakar Keshav Gajakosh, the main accused in the Bhanderiya case and a poacher in Karnataka. Police had recovered from Prabhakar, animal skins, including skin and other parts of a lion worth Rs 50,000. Dora had met him many times and was close to him. We want to find out if the goods found on Prabhakar were sold to him by Dora or someone else."
While demanding longer remand, police also cited reasons like Dora's connection with an international network of poachers and need to get information about his other associates who are still at large.
Carcasses of two lions, with bones and claws missing, were found buried in a private farm in Bhanderiya village of Jesar taluka of the district on April 12, 2007. Previous to this, five lions had been killed under mysterious circumstances in Gir forest in Junagadh, leading to suspicion of a poacher gang operating in the area.
Police caught 17 people, including a minor, and 16 have been convicted. The accused that belong to Beliya tribe from Katni of MP were nabbed with spears and traps. Minter Parghi, an associate of Dora, was caught a while ago and investigations are on. Dora's arrest is the 19th made in the case and police hopes to get vital information about six more accused from him and catch them soon.
The 16 people were convicted in a landmark judgment in any wildlife poaching case in the country and sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment for killing Asiatic lions of Gir by a Bhavnagar court on February 26, 2008.
Chief metropolitan magistrate of Bhavnagar had pronounced the case as a criminal conspiracy punishable under the Indian Penal Code besides the Wildlife Protection Act. This was the highest term in any poaching incident across the country.