The state Forest department is relieved after the conviction of a poacher by a Pilibhit court in a tiger poaching case of 1992. The five-year sentence and a fine of Rs 25,000 to Dalipo (55) has given hope to the department and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) that the activities of her gang would now be curbed.
The accused was caught with tiger skin and bones. During investigation,her name had also cropped up in trading tiger skins to notorious trader in wildlife products,Sansar Chand.
Dalipos gang,comprising mostly her relatives and locals,operated in the pretext of beggars and vendors. They would live on the border of tiger sanctuaries in makeshift huts. The gang was active mainly in Pilibhit,Pithoragarh and Lakhimpur Kheri.
Her brother Tota Ram had figured during investigation in a tiger poaching case in East Terai division of Uttarakhand in 2004-05. Cases of tiger poaching have also been registered against her son and daughter-in-law.
The gang,operating as poachers,carriers and traders of tiger skin,bones,has been active for at least 30 years before it caught our attention in 2005, said a senior WCCB official.
A native of Haryana,Dalipo was caught in 2005 with a tiger skin and skeleton. But she and her nine co-accused had got away with a sentence of only nine months.
Dalipo has been found involved in four cases of tiger poaching. In 2007-08,iron traps were found from her in possession in Mehrosa. A tiger skin was seized from her in Kishanpur in 2006-07.