Poacher Sansar Chand, who was blamed for wiping out Sariska’s tiger population in 2005, died of prostate cancer in a Jaipur hospital Tuesday morning. In his late 50s, Sansar died hours before he was to appear in court in a poaching case.
Brought from Tihar Jail hospital to Alwar, he was to be produced in the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate on March 14 for a hearing related to poaching — he was to appear for another hearing Tuesday — but had to be moved to the Alwar district hospital.
On Saturday, Sansar was shifted to SMS Hospital in Jaipur. But his condition deteriorated and he died at 9.53 am Tuesday.
He had 10 “strong cases of poaching” against him and was named in at least 40 others. He was accused of killing over 200 tigers apart from several hundred other species. He was arrested by Delhi Police and later handed over to the CBI.
The first case against him was filed in 1974 at the age of 18. He is said to have entered the trade as early as 13 when he assisted his grandfather who used to deal in animal hides.
“Sansar Chand used to operate through conduits and couriers and would never involve himself directly. Despite being the kingpin, he could not be nailed because of his modus operandi.
He was involved in poaching from an early age but it was only after the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 came into effect that he was booked for the first time in 1974. But he went scot-free because he was considered a juvenile,” said Saurabh Sharma, who fought several cases against Sansar on behalf of the Wildlife Trust of India.