Rajasthan cops arrest poaching kingpin

Rajasthan cops arrest poaching kingpin

By Meenal Dubey in New Delhi,MidDay August 17,2008

FOR THE last four years, he was the elusive kingpin of illegal wildlife trade. But last week, poacher Narayan’s luck ran out and he was arrested by the Rajasthan Police.

” The 41- year- old accused has confessed to selling skins of tigers from Jim Corbett National Park and also selling 11 skins of panthers from Sariska.

He has also confessed to selling of 10,000 Otter skins and a tiger skin from Karnataka,” said Rajasthan forest minister Ram Lal Jat. ” We are sure that he is involved in many more cases,” he added.

This is perhaps one of the biggest catches for the investigating agencies dealing with wildlife crime. Considering that he is one of the four brothers of notorious wildlife trader Sansar Chand, the Rajasthan forest department seems justified in patting itself on the back.

” Though Narayan was handling the family business of wildlife crime, he did so under the tutelage of his jailed brother Sansar Chand,” said Rajasthan’s chief wildlife warden R. N. Mehrotra. ” He is mentioned as a key accused in the CBI report to the Prime Minister on the death of Sariska tigers.

Narayan is a resident of Sadar Bazar in Delhi and uses his scrapdealing business as a front for the illegal trade.” Mehrotra said Narayan’s unique modus operandi set him apart from other wildlife criminals.

” He is known to shell out anything from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for ground- level operatives for killing and skinning animals according to the demands of the trade. This money is paid in advance and it ensures that his orders are carried out,” he said.

” Though Chand was his chief advisor in the last four years, Narayan operated with two other major players, one of whom is based in Nepal and the other in Kanpur. ” We should be able to net them as well,” said a Rajasthan forest department official.

Ashok Kumar

Wildlife Trust of India

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