The Chitwan National Park (CNP) on Friday made public 14 people arrested on the charge of being involved in poaching rhinoceros, amid a press meet in the district. The arrestees include Buddhi Bahadur Praja, Gopal Hajara Dusad, Daliram Darai, Bir Bahadur Praja, Dilli Bahadur Praja, Damu Praja, Raju Chepang, Ramesh Chepang and Ram Kumar Chepang.
The national park authorities arrested them from Chitwan, Kathmandu, Parsa and Pokhara on different dates as part of their ‘operation unicornish’ from September 12 to October 1.
The authorities also confiscated one country made pistol, one rifle and four rounds of bullets from the arrestees. A national park official said the arrestees were planning to poach rhinos before they were held.
Assistant Conservation Officer Tikaram Poudel said Buddhi was arrested from Pokhara with the help of the Central Investigation Bureau on September 13. Poudel said Buddhi has been charged with selling 12 rhino horns and amassing Rs 5 million illegally. Six cases of rhino poaching have been lodged at the CNP against him.
Earlier, he is said to have been freed after spending three years in prison on the conviction of smuggling rhino horns.
Assistant Conservation Officer Bishnu Thapaliya said it is a big achievement that poachers were arrested just before they planned to kill rhinos.