A lower court in Bhavnagar on Thursday sentenced 16 poachers of Asiatic Lions to five years of imprisonment. Earlier, in October last year, a Judicial Magistrate in Junagadh had convicted 20 poachers in two cases. In September 2008, three persons were convicted for electrocuting five lions in Dhari village in Bhavnagar.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate in Bhavnagar pronounced the verdict on Thursday in connection with a 2007 poaching case in village Bhandariya in Bhavnagar. While 15 of those convicted are from Madhya Pradesh, one is from Karnataka.
The CID (crime) was roped in to help the Forest Department track the accused in a total of 10 cases of Asiatic Lion poaching in 2007. While two cases were registered in Junagadh, the third was registered in Bhavnagar.