Police seize blackbuck skin, accused claims it a gift from Pataudis
FARIDABAD: The Faridabad police on Tuesday filed an FIR against a 99-year-old man from Machgar village for allegedly possessing skin of endangered blackbuck.
According to the police, the man identified as Badam Singh claimed to have received it as a gift over 50 years ago from former Indian Test cricket captain Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, father of late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
The police was unable to arrest Singh on Tuesday as he claimed that he was unwell owing to his old age. On Wednesday, the police again went to arrest Singh after the FIR was registered against him, but his health allegedly deteriorated and he was admitted to a local hospital. “We could not formally arrest him though we had to produce him before the court today,” IMT police officials said.
According to the IMT police chowki in-charge Rajbir Singh, “The search was conducted on Tuesday and the decades old skin of a blackbuck was recovered. During the course of questioning, the man said that the skin was very old and was gifted to him by Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi when he was working at their family home.”
Hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Police officials said that Singh, a retired veterinary doctor, was working in the haveli of Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi when the nawab allegedly gifted the skin to him over 50 years ago. The present wildlife act came into being in 1972 and before that poaching of wild animals was allowed. The case has been registered against the accused under section 9/39/51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
“The recovery was made on the basis of specific information,” said Charan Singh, inspector wildlife department.
Sharmila Tagore, wife of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, was unavailable for comment.
A week ago, Haryana police arrested a temple priest after wildlife officials recovered an old leopard skin rug from his possession.
The wildlife officials registered a case against the priest in Sadar Ballabgarh police station, who was later arrested and sent to jail.