Pandharkawda forest officials have nabbed three poachers for killing a chinkara (black buck) in Sakhra reserve forest in Mahandodi beat on Tuesday. The forest is 3-4 km from Tipeshwar wildlife sanctuary in Yavatmal district.
Those arrested include Sonrao Ade, Manik Pindor and Shesherao Veladhi, all residents of Sakhra. One accused Pandit Soyam, who is suspected to have laid at least nine bamboo traps to catch herbivores, is absconding.
Chinkara is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Poaching of the herbivore has a provision of imprisonment between three and seven years.
Pandharkawda assistant conservator of forests (ACF) H L Kamble confirmed the killing. The traps were laid on Monday afternoon. A chinkara got trapped in the evening and was slaughtered on Tuesday.
"Acting on a tip off, we raided the houses of the accused who had sold chinkara meat for Rs 1,400. Kingpin Ade was caught with cooked meat. We also seized skin and trophy from his house. A pair of peacock legs was also confiscated, indicating the accused was also involved in killing the birds," said Kamble.
All the accused have been booked under Sections 9, 39, 52 and 44 related to hunting and possession of wildlife trophies and articles. They were produced before judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) who remanded them to four days' forest custody. RFO R N Manchand and forester D C Lokhande have launched a hunt for Soyam.