By Vijay Pinjarkar
NAGPUR: In yet another big catch, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Delhi, on Friday morning nabbed tiger poacher Hanumant from Odisha, wanted in tiger skin seizure case in Bhandara.
On Wednesday, the WCCB had arrested Shivram Bagdi, brother of notorious tiger skin trader Sarju Bagdi.
Based on the inputs given by Bhandara officials investigating seizure of tiger skin on July 28 and subsequently five tiger nails, the WCCB regional office at Jabalpur informed the Delhi office and tracked the culprit.
Hanumant was nabbed by WCCB sleuths in Nabarangapur in Odisha at 8am. They called up wildlife and territorial officials in Gondia and Bhandara and asked them to take custody of Hanumant in 24 hours.
"We have sent a four-member team of senior officials to Odisha. The accused will be brought on production warrant," confirmed Bhandara deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) Vinay Thakre.
Hanumant is the actual person who is learnt to have poached the tiger and had brought the skin in Bhandara through local middlemen and poachers for selling it.
Hanumant's name figures in the statement of another accused Manoj Mahajan from Nagpur, who used to procure and finance tiger skins and body parts for sorcery.
Meanwhile, a team from Bhandara had also been to Khawasa to interrogate four accused from whom two tiger nails were seized recently. The officials say the seized nails may be of leopard, but only forensic test can reveal the facts. The samples have been sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), a premier research organization at Hyderabad.