Leopard poachers get six years’ jail

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Three leopard poachers were sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.10,000 each by a court in Madhya Pradesh Monday.

Ittu Baiga, Bahilal Baiga and Iqbal alias Atiq Ahmed, who is absconding, were sentenced under the Wildlife Protection Act by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, A.A. Ansari in Katni.

The accused poisoned a water-hole June 25 last year in the Dhimarkheda range of the Katni forest division with organo-phosphate pesticide that led to the death of several wild animals, including three leopards, two civet cats, one spotted deer and one langur.

Poisoning of water-holes is a terrible method of poaching that results in indiscriminate killing of animals, irrespective of which species the poacher is after, the NGO Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) said here in a statement.

The leopard is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, and the civet cat is listed in Part II of Schedule II of the Act.

The penalty for a first time offence involving these species is between three to seven years in jail and a fine of not less than Rs.10,000. The prosecution of the case was handled by advocate Manjula Shrivastava, lawyer for WPSI in Katni.

bigcatrescue.org

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