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17 arrested for killing tigers, using body parts for black magic

Claws and paws of two adult tigers, a cub, and leopard was recovered from them and they claim to have buried body parts of another tiger in Pench tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the MP forest department officials said.

india Updated: May 10, 2019 21:28 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Bhopal
togers,arrest,black magic
In a joint operation, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra forest departments have arrested 17 persons for allegedly killing and selling tigers’ body parts for black magic.(HT File)

In a joint operation, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra forest departments have arrested 17 persons for allegedly killing and selling tigers’ body parts for black magic.

Those arrested include poachers, traders and sorcerers.

Claws and paws of two adult tigers, a cub, and leopard was recovered from them and they claim to have buried body parts of another tiger in Pench tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the MP forest department officials said.

Out of 17 arrested, 16 hail from three districts of Mahakoshal – Chhindwara, Seoni and Balaghat — in Madhya Pradesh, while the remaining one is from Maharashtra.

Principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF), Wildlife , U Prakasham said, “The accused have been booked under The Wildlife Protection Act. The investigation is on and more will be arrested.”

According to forest officials, the accused used to approach a sorcerer to convince people that occult ritual with a tiger’s body parts will help them become rich as there would be a shower of money on them (Dhanvarsha) once they performed the ritual.

The sorcerers, two in number, used to charge Rs 10,000 to 20,000 from the poachers to convince people and get them to buy the body parts.

The poachers used code words for different body parts like ‘lakdi’ (wood) for bone, ‘dhaga’ (thread) for whiskers.

Acting on a tip-off regarding illegal trade of tiger’s body parts, Nagpur forest department nabbed three of the accused from Ramtek area of Nagpur district on Sunday and recovered tigers’ whiskers from them.

“The accused Ramdas Chavan, Tara Singh Rathod and Bhikam Singh Rathod told the investigating team that they had buried other parts of the body of an adult tiger in Pench Tiger Reserve. The investigating team recovered a carcass of a tiger in Kumbhpani village in the reserve on Tuesday, said Vikram Singh Parihar, field director, Pench Tiger Reserve.

MP Forest STF and district forest officials of Seoni, Chhindwara and Balaghat started investigation and nabbed 14 more accused from different villages and recovered tigers and leopard’s body parts, said a forest official.

First Published: May 10, 2019 21:28 IST