Four poachers arrested with leopard skin, nails worth ` 8L
THANE: Four suspected poachers were arrested from Dombivli and leopard skin and nails worth Rs7.73 lakh seized from them on Monday.
The Thane crime branch of f i cers said t he ar rested men are f rom Pali village, 90 kms from Mumbai, in the neighboring Raigad district.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, deputy commissioner of police (crime) Parag Manere said they arrested the men after getting a tip-off that the poachers were coming to a place near Dombivli railway police station.
The team of crime branch officers led by senior police inspector Shailendra Nagarkar kept a vigil at the spot and arrested the four.
The cost of the leopard skin was Rs7 lakh, he said.
The police said t hat t he poachers had poisoned the fiveyear-old leopard and killed it.
“After hunting an animal, the leopard did not finish its food. The poachers had kept vigil on the leopard’s movement and they poisoned food.
The leopard returned to eat the rest of the carcass and died after eating it,” said a forest officer.
The arrested persons were identified as Sandip Sharma, 36, Mahadev Vargade, 67, Dehu Hamber, 42, and Aakash Fage, 22, all residents of Raigad district adjoining Mumbai.
Manere said the accused had allegedly killed the leopard and were looking for potential customers to sell its hide and nails.
The four have been booked under sections 9,39,48(a),48(A), 49(B),50 and 51 of Protection of Wildlife Rules, 1972.
The police are investigating if more people were involved in the crime.
Police officers show the seized leopard skin in Thane on Wednesday.