The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department Tuesday arrested a 45-year-old man in Lakhimpur Kheri district for his alleged involvement in killing tigers and leopards, and smuggling animal parts to neighbouring Nepal.
A native of Nehrausa village in Lakhimpur Kheri, Fariyad alias Lambu was wanted 11 cases related to poaching and smuggling; six of them were lodged in Pilibhit and five in Nepal. He was untraceable after he jumped bail in 2015.
“Fariyad was involved in the killing of leopards and tigers, and selling their body parts. He used to sell skin and bones of animals in Nepal. Apart from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and UP Police, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal was also looking for him. We have informed our counterparts in Nepal about the arrest,” said Dr Anil Kumar Patel, deputy director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (buffer zone), Lakhimpur Kheri.
According to Patel, the forest department was tipped off by the CIB that Fariyad and his associate Rizwan alias Bengali would pass through Bhumnagar crossing early on Monday. It arrested Fariyad, while Rizwan managed to escape. It claims to have recovered five tiger bones from Fariyad.
The forest department booked Fariyad on various sections of the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA) and the Indian Forest Act. A local court has sent him to judicial custody, Patel said.
“Fariyad told forest officers that he was carrying five bones of a tiger as a specimen to Nepal. After getting the buyer’s confirmation, he would have sent the rest of the bones to him through his associates. Police are conducting raids to trace Fariyad’s associates, including Rizwan. Fariyad also told us he used to sell skins and body parts to one Lama alias Master in Nepal,” said Patel.
Rizwan is also wanted in various cases, said Patel.
In 2014, Fariyad surrendered before a local court of Pilibhit in connection with WLPA case. He had spent around one year in jail. “Fariyad jumped bail and remained absconding,” said Patel.
He said Fariyad and his associates kept changing their base, helped by hideouts along the Indo-Nepal border.