Friday, April 09, 2010

Dead leopard’s nails recovered in Sabarkantha

Dead leopard's nails recovered in Sabarkantha
Times of India

In yet another catch, the forest department has recovered 18 nails of a young leopard which had died of starvation 12 days ago near Aud village in Sabarkantha district. This is the second major catch after a leopard skin was recovered.

Three unidentified person who managed to give forest cops the slip, were performing tantrik rituals with the nails, foresters said.

Chief Conservator Crime Forest (CCCF) Gandhinagar, DK Sharma, said, "Based on a tip-off forest officials raided the crematorium situated on the outskirts of the village. Three accused had just begun what appeared to be a tantrik (black magic) ritual. But, at the sight of the government vehicle, they fled leaving the nails behind."

The leopard carcass had been found in a decomposed condition from the forest area of the village on March 27. Postmortem revealed that the animal had starved to death. Someone had taken out its nails after the animal died.

Sharma said the officials had earlier received a tip-off that the local villagers had the nails. A close watch was kept on the movement of suspects. He said on Thursday they got the tip-off that the villagers were performing some ritual.

Sharma said since these suspects came from the nearby villages where this ritual was being performed, they have been identified and will be soon arrested.

Officials from the department said these nails were probably being used to keep away the evil spirits. According to Sharma, Darbars believe that that wearing the nails of an animal with power would make the heart of the child strong and would give them the power. Also, one had to perform the ritual before getting it framed in metal, gold and silver.

Leopard skin traders sent in judicial custody

All four accused of trading carcass of wild animals in Vijaynagar, who had been granted six-day remand on April 2 by judicial magistrate, were sent in judicial custody after their remand period got over on Tuesday.

According to assistant conservator of forests, Sabarkantha, RM Desai, "The leopard was believed to have been first trapped and later killed by hitting heavy rods on to its head. "We have also recovered mobile phones and equipment which were probably used for poaching the animal," Desai said. These have been sent to Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for investigation. "A leopard has 18 nails and can be sold to the extend of Rs 50,000 per claw," he added.

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