By Vijay Pinjarkar
Nagpur: In a major action, the Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) has nabbed dreaded tiger poacher Saeed from Bijnaur. Saeed was wanted by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) for the past two years.
According to inputs provided by WCCB, a STPF team led by Dr Arvind Chaturvedi, additional superintendent of police, nabbed Saeed on Saturday night from Chhayli in Bijnaur.
Chaturvedi said Saeed has links with notorious tiger skin traders Suraj Bhan alias Sarju and Naresh Lala. Both were arrested by a joint team of Maharashtra forest department and WCCB from Delhi on September 7, 2013.
While Lala is absconding, Sarju is lodged in Nagpur Central Jail for trafficking five tiger skins from Amdi Fata near Ramtek. Both had procured tiger skin, bones, nails and teeth from Saeed by offering Rs6 lakh in September 2013.
Both Lala and Sarju were arrested with Rs2.75 lakh and tiger body parts after this deal. Direct and indirect links of Saeed with poaching cases in Nagpur cannot be ruled. "We will try to find out if there is any connection with the present poaching cases here," said CBI source.
Chaturvedi said Saeed is still active in the trade and linked to traders from Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand and organized Baheliya poachers from Madhya Pradesh.
On the tiger skins and body parts sold to Lala and Sarju, Saeed admitted that he had poached a tiger with the help of his aide Shakil by poisoning a buffalo calf. Tiger died after consuming the calf in Badhapur in Kalagadh area of Uttarakhand, which has high density of tigers.
"WCCB was trying to nab Saeed for almost 2 years but in vain. He had good connections with local forest ranks. We found him quite active in poaching and in touch with people in Samalkha. He was also collecting red sandalwood from Kotdwar in Uttaranchal. He was also talking to people in south India as per his CDR. Saeed sold red sander wood for Rs3,500 per kg in Delhi," said Chaturvedi.