Big catch: Sansar aide in cops’ net
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Rakesh Ranjan | New Delhi
A suspected aide of notorious poacher Sansar Chand, involved in the killing of several tigers, including those in Sariska Tiger Reserve, has been arrested by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). The accused, Bheema (38), wanted in connection with the killing of a tiger and illegal wildlife trade, was arrested on Tuesday from Ballabhgarh in Haryana in a joint operation by the WCCB and Gurgaon police.
According to the WCCB, a concerted and coordinated effort by various agencies, including the CBI, made the arrest possible. Earlier, the CBI and WCCB in a joint operation on November 5 had successfully nabbed seven poachers and wildlife traders from Nagpur and Delhi. Two poachers were arrested from Majnu Ka Tila in the Capital. Hides of two adult tigers, 25 kilograms of bones, seven otter skins and other contrabands were recovered from their possession. A WCCB official said the arrested persons belonged to a gang of poachers and they provided leads which resulted in the arrest of Bheema.
Bheema, a proclaimed offender, is wanted in a poaching case in which tiger bones, body parts, several traps and implements were recovered from his house at Surat Nagar in Gurgaon in July 2008. The accused is involved in a number of cases pending in nine States, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. He is also suspected to have been involved in poaching cases in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
A case against Bheema was registered in the Rajendra Park police station in Gurgaon on July 7, 2008.
Bheema was earlier nabbed by the police on August 15, 2005, with a tiger skin, 7 kg tiger bones, 500 g tiger fat, and tiger canines but he was out on bail. Sansar Chand and his associates are suspected to be behind the extinction of big cats from the Sariska Tiger Reserve.
“The WCCB was acting in close association with the CBI and other agencies to bust the racket. Acting on a tip off, we nabbed Bheema,” the official said. He said that Bheema’s arrest was expected to throw light on the working of the racket and illegal trade network in the country, especially in North India. The accused, who hails from Gurgaon, had managed to escape on several occasions earlier, the officer said. The WCCB is initially probing his involvement in poaching cases in the north.