By Vijay Pinjarkar
In another breakthrough, two tiger poachers, Bhajan and Rauna, belonging to Bahelia community from Katni in MP, were nabbed in Raigada in Odisha on Thursday night. Raigada is around 400km from Chhattisgarh capital Raipur.
With the arrest of these two, the tally of those arrested in tiger poaching cases in Vidarbha has gone up to 18. Forest officials said the list of wanted poachers has swelled to 80 and not 48 as was thought earlier. Bhajan is said to one of them.
Talking to TOI, Sarjan Bhagat, state's principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) for wildlife, said, "Two tiger poachers have been arrested including Bhajan, whose name figures in the killing of a tiger in Dhakna. Links of another poachers are being identified."
Acting on a tip-off by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a NGO working in wildlife crime enforcement, the Raigada SP laid a trap and nabbed the two at 10pm from a temporary camp near railway station on Thursday. Two persons, also suspected to be poachers, managed to escape. However, delay in reaching Raigada by state forest officials to take custody of the accused may prove costly as Odisha Police may not keep the accused in custody for more than 24 hours.
Bhagat said, "We are despatching a forest team to Raigada tonight. Earlier, we thought of sending Melghat officials but changed our plan." "The poachers are scattering to remote areas to avoid arrests and it will take sustained efforts to nail them," said Nitin Desai, Central India director of WPSI.
According sources, the area of operation of Bhajan (25), son of Hotel, was Melghat. More....