Biggest trader of tiger parts convicted
New Delhi, November 12, 2008
In another significant development notorious tiger and leopard trader Shabbir Hasan Qureshi of Allahabad, who by his own admission is responsible for killing of some 600 tigers, and his accomplice Ashok Pardhi was convicted on two separate counts under Sections 49b and 52 and of the Wild Life (Protection) Act for trade and abetments of trade in tiger and leopard parts.
Qureshi and Pardhi received a sentence of three years rigorous imprisonment on both counts, making a total of six years each, and a fine of Rs. 10,000 on each count by the court of the Judicial Magistrate in Katni, Madhya Pradesh yesterday after nearly ten months of trails.
Given the average duration of wildlife cases this matter was sorted out fairly expeditiously.
Qureshi and Pardhi were absconders in a 2004 case where seven leopard skins were seized near Shadhol in Madhya Pradesh. After Qureshis arrest in December 2007 in Allahabad with three tiger skins and three tiger skeletons, his custody was procured by the Katni Forest Department. His trial began on the 2004 case in January this year.
The case was fought by the lawyer of Delhi based NGO Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI)’s advocate Manjula Srivastava on behalf of the Katni Forest Department, with the “We are absolutely delighted that this notorious big cat trader has been convicted, the outcome of the case in Katni is a great victory for India’s wildlife,” said Nitin Desai, WPSI’s Director in Central India on hearing the news in Katni.
Qureshi is accused in a number of other wildlife cases that include the biggest seizure of tiger parts in India in Khaga in January 2000 where some four tiger skins, 70 leopard skins and a huge haul of other wildlife products was made. He is also the prime accused in the December 2007 seizure of three tiger skins and three tiger skeletons in Allahabad. Both these cases is currently been investigated by CBI.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org