In the fifth incident in the district this year, the Chandrapur police seized leopard skin from four men near Kothari, 200km from Nagpur on Sunday. The arrests of the four men have led to the busting of a major wildlife-poaching racket.
The local crime branch officials arrested the four accused -- Suresh Bugawar, 38, Mohan Pinge, 32, Rajesh Ratnaparkhi, 37, and Maruti Kumre, 52 – while they were heading towards Gondpipri, bordering Andhra Pradesh. Bugawar and Pinge were under the police and forest department scanner for some weeks, said the police.
Mohd Haque, superintendent of police (SP), Chandrapur, said, “They have been remanded in police custody for two days.”
There are five tiger reserves in the 250km periphery of Nagpur. “There has been a marked rise in poaching activities,” said GRK Ramakrishna Rao, former conservator of forests of Chandrapur and senior Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer.