An Amravati court has sentenced three tiger traders Ranjit, Sarju and Dalbir to seven years rigorous imprisonment in the Dhakna tiger poaching case of Melghat.
These offenders have already spent two years in jail.
The interesting point in the case is that the tiger’s body was not found. Based on DNA analysis only, it was concluded that the tiger was poached.
Call detail records were also produced as evidence of conspiracy. The statements of the accused were recorded electronically and produced as per relevant provisions of Indian Evidence Act.
Ranjit and Dalbir were middlemen who gave advance money for poaching.
Later, they purchased the tiger skin and bones for Rs 1.65 lakh. Sarju purchased the skin and bones from them and sold these to Surajpal, another trader, currently lodged in Tihar jail.
Ranjit was arrested from Visakhapatnam by mobile tracking. Ranjit is a well-known international wildlife smuggler.
He was also booked by the CBI in 2009 in a tiger smuggling case. However, he was released on bail which he later jumped.
Sarju was arrested while he was driving to Delhi by tracking his mobile. Dalbir was arrested from Haryana.
The accused formed an international racket which hunted tigers and transported body parts to China. Sarju and Dalbir have been booked by the Maharashtra Forest Department in other tiger poaching cases too. The arrests were made in 2013.
Dhakna was one of the several cases of tiger poaching that had rocked the state in 2013.
The Forest Department had worked overtime to bust the racket, arresting over 30 persons in the various cases that involved the killing of over 15 tigers. Many of the cases are still under trial.