Gurgaon: Man arrested for illegal wildlife trade in Faridabad
A 35-year-old man was arrested in Faridabad on Wednesday night for his alleged involvement in illegal wildlife trade and a leopard skin rug seized from his possession. The species is protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
On a tip-off, officials of the wildlife department conducted a raid at the resident of Ramdas, a temple priest in Fatehpur Billoch of Faridabad district.
A six-member wildlife team conducted the raid around 10.30pm on Wednesday and a lodged a complaint with the Sadar police in Faridabad.
“The leopard skin rug is found to be made from a three-and-a-half-year-old leopard. It cannot be ascertained if the leopard was a male or female,” Dr Ashok Khasa, a veterinary surgeon, who works with the wildlife department, said.
The leopard skin rug is 73 inches in length and 36 inches in breadth.
A case has been registered under Section 51 (penalties attracted by violation) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and Section 120 b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Violation of Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act is punishable with imprisonment for a period of three years or with a fine of Rs25,000 or both.
“Further probe is being conducted by our team and police officers in this case. There is a huge demand for leopard skin on the international market. More information about the illegal trade of wildlife will be obtained from the accused,” Vinod Kumar, conservator of wildlife, south Haryana, said.
A police officer associated with the case said, “The accused has been sent to Neemka jail.”
He added that the accused, during the course of questioning, said that the skin was old and was used by his predecessor as well. According to the police, he has been sitting on the skin for the last seven years.
On November 24, 2017, the residents of Kharak Sohna village in Mewat district of Haryana had found a dead leopard in Aravallis.
In several instances, the man-animal conflict has resulted in deaths of leopards. A male leopard was beaten to death in Kheri Gujaran village in 2011 by a mob in the presence of government officials.
In April 2014, four leopards were found dead within a week in and around a private golf resort in Gurgaon. About half a dozen leopards have been killed in road accidents in Gurgaon over the last few years.
On November 24, 2016, a two-and-a-half-year-old male leopard was beaten to death by villagers of Mandawar after it strayed into the village in Sohna area, 40 kilometres from Gurgaon.
On November 21, 2017, the special environment court, Faridabad, convicted tiger poacher Bhima Bawaria and sentenced him to three years imprisonment. The court also imposed a fine of Rs10,000 on him under the Wildlife Protection Act.