Another tiger falls to poachers in Bhadravati
20 Mar 2009, 0513 hrs IST, Vijay Pinjarkar & Mazhar Ali, TNN
NAGPUR/CHANDRAPUR: One more tiger is feared to have been poached after Bhadravati forest officials nabbed three persons for their alleged involvement in sale of tiger parts on Wednesday. Officials have recovered 10 tiger claws, bones, teeth, several antlers, wire traps and dried chital meat from the accused Praful Vishwanath Shedmake (29), Hanuman Pundlik Jumnake (34) and Janpat Parbat Kumre (40).
Bhadravati RFO Umesh Dhotekar laid a trap on Ghot-Ghodpeth road on Wednesday on a tip-off by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). The forest officials intercepted two motorbike-borne persons and after a thorough search seized 10 tiger nails, suspected to be around a month old.
During interrogation Shedmake revealed that he worked as a peon in Kolsa gram panchayat and brought the claws from one Kumre of Zari village on TATR boundary in Chichpalli range. Kumre told the forest officials that the nails were brought from one Shalik Waktu Gedam of Doni village — a km away from TATR. Kumre confessed that the two accused were riding his bike.
On Thursday morning, Dhotekar and his men raided Gedam’s house and seized three deer trophies, antlers, 1.5 kg dried deer meat, three molars, two tiger bones, deer skull, 100 wire traps and equipment used for poaching.
An offence under section 39 (3) of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 has been registered against the accused and they have been remanded to 14 days magisterial custody by Bhadravati JMFC. Dhotekar said hunt for kingpin Gedam has been launched.
“We have stumbled upon a well-organised poaching nexus, though it is still early to say where the tiger might have been poached. The accused might be working as agents. Further interrogation may give more clues about their links,” Dhotekar said. According to conservationists, the fact cannot be ruled out that the gang might have been involved in killing wild animals in and outside TATR and smuggling parts.