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MP STF arrests notorious wildlife smuggler

This is the second big catch of STF this year. Last month STF arrested international turtle smuggler Manivannam Murgesan from Chennai.

bhopal Updated: Mar 08, 2018 21:54 IST
Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
STF,poacher,wildlife
(AFP Photo)(File photo)

Madhya Pradesh forest department special task force (wildlife crime) has arrested Pawan Pardhi, accused of being a notorious inter-state wildlife smuggler, with sexual organs of monitor lizards, which he claimed are used in tantric rituals to attract girls.

The team led by STF in charge Ritesh Sirothia and members of the Tiger Strike Force from Satna district caught Pawan on Tuesday after they got a tip off about his presence in Katni and Panna districts.

“Fifty year old Pawan is a notorious wildlife smuggler and poacher against whom there is a case of poaching in Katni (1999), a case of poaching a lion in Gujarat (2000) and a case related to poaching attempt on a tiger in Panna Tiger Reserve. Police and wildlife officials have been searching for him for last nearly two decades. He has been accused of smuggling wildlife and animal body parts and selling them in cities like Allahabad, Lucknow , Delhi and Nagpur, from where they would be smuggled out of the country. We have taken him in remand for three days”, said Sirothia.

Sirothia said during interrogation he told them that sexual organs of monitor lizards were used for attracting girls.

Monitor lizards are smuggled by poachers for ‘Hatha Jodi’, which is basically their dried sexual organ (hemipenis) that tantrics sell as rare roots that resemble human arms. Three monitor lizard species are listed under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. There are four kinds of monitor lizards in India-Bengal monitor lizard, water monitor lizard, desert monitor lizard and yellow monitor lizard. Of these four, according to experts, Bengal monitor lizard is found in almost every district of MP.

This is the second big catch of STF this year. Last month STF arrested international turtle smuggler Manivannam Murgesan from Chennai. According to the STF, Murgesan was wanted by STF, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Uttar Pradesh and was considered the kingpin of India’s illegal turtle trade market.

This is not the first case involving monitor lizards in the state. Last summer STF had arrested a temple priest and four traders for selling online animal body parts including “sexual organs of Monitor lizards” for tantric rituals. Later in August , MP government even issued a notice to four online companies for online trading in animal body parts used in tantric rituals

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 21:54 IST