Meerut raid: Wildlife trophies, arms recovered from retired Army officer’s house
During the search of retired colonel Devendra Kumar’s house, officials seized a leopard pelt, four black buck trophies, three sambar antlers, eight deer skulls, seven teeth, 117 kg of raw meat and a knife with an ivory handle.Updated: Apr 30, 2017 13:31 IST
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence sleuths recovered hides, antlers and suspected meat of wild animals, besides a huge haul of arms and currency notes, during a raid at the residence of a retired Army officer in Civil Lines area on Saturday morning.
The search of retired colonel Devendra Kumar’s house resulted in the seizure of a leopard pelt, four black buck trophies, three sambar antlers, eight deer skulls (six of which have antlers), seven teeth, 117 kg of raw meat and a knife with an ivory handle.
The raid, conducted in collaboration with the forest department, also unearthed cash amounting to Rs 99.98 lakh and various kinds of firearms and ammunition.
A case has been registered against Kumar and his son, Prashant Vishnoi, under the Wildlife Act. “Teams have been constituted to arrest Prashant, who is still at large. We are investigating their links with poachers,” said chief conservator of forests (west zone) Mukesh Kumar.
A forest official said samples of the meat found in the retired colonel’s freezer have been sent for laboratory testing. “It could be that of blue bulls or deer,” a forest official said.
Kumar and his son run a security agency. Vishnoi, a professional skeet shooter, had secured the 65th rank in the National Shooting Championship held at Jaipur in November last year.
Sources said Vishnoi had a passion for hunting, and was part of the team of hunters invited to cull over 500 blue bulls in Bihar last year. His Facebook friends include actor Arjun Rampal, cricketer Harbhajan Singh and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.
The raid extended till late into the night, and local police provided security to the raiding team.