By P. Naveen [Admin note: the first part of this post has little, if anything, to do with animals, but the latter portion does.\
Poachers from Madhya Pradesh allegedly conned two forest employees - from the neighbouring Chhattisgarh state by selling them an ordinary stone in the garb of "nagmani" - also called cobra pearl - for Rs 2.5 lakh.
Both the forest employees had loaned money to buy the precious gem - they believed was the mythological gem embedded on the hood of a snake with the power to fulfill all their wishes.
Realising that they have been tricked, the forest employees reached Mandla and lodged a formal complaint with the Bichhiyan police station. But, later they withdrew it fearing explanations they might have to give for, the money and their alleged nexus with the poachers.
The con was committed by Yarleen, a 26-year-old Pardhi youth from Katnti district. He is presently in custody of forest officials in Nagpur in connection with alleged poaching of over a dozen tigers.
Yarleen, who was already under surveillance for his alleged links with international poaching syndicate, was arrested while he made a bid to sell another so-called nagmani for Rs 6 lakh to a decoy customer.
And the cap on his "wonderful" "con job was lifted during a joint interrogation by the forest officials from MP and Maharashtra.
According to sources, the accused first lured the forest employees and forced them to believe about its "supernatural powers" by conducting some tests. More....