Times of India
NAGPUR: Even as endangered species like tigers are bring poached to extinction, those involved are being freed one by one on bail, only to get into the same business again.
Last month, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court granted bail to two Baheliya poachers, Yarlen and Barsul. Before that, tiger skin trader Naresh Lala from Delhi was also released on bail. Now, all three have filed an application before the court to be exempted from appearance at hearings due to health reasons. All three are wanted for poaching tigers in the region. While Lala transported five tiger skins from Umred and Amdi Fata, Yarlen and Barsul were wanted in poaching of tiger at Akot in Melghat (Amravati).
Records accessed by TOI show that poachers from hunting tribes like Baheliyas from Katni and Bawarias of Haryana never turn up before the court once released on bail. Many dreaded poachers released on bail are either absconding or had to be tracked down and arrested for the second time. Eight hard-core poachers involved in poaching tigers during 2012-13 have been granted bail by the courts. They include global traders Suraj Pal alias Chacha (still in jail) and Naresh Lala (both orders granting bail are being challenged before the high court), Yarlen, Barsul and poacher harbourers Parman and Soberam, besides Jiyalal Bawankar, who makes steel traps for poachers.
Another example is that of Keru Chhiyalal Rajgond and Ranjit Singh Bawaria. CBI had caught them along with others at Nagpur railway station and seized two tiger skins and 30kg bones in November 2009. Keru got bail in July 2010 from the high court and Ram Swarup, Ranjit's son-in-law, was declared juvenile by chief judicial magistrate (CJM) at Nagpur. Ranjit later got bail in early 2011.
As of today, Keru is absconding and has never attended a single hearing after getting bail. CBI issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) many times but he never attends court. Keru and his brother Ajit were later involved in poaching tigers again. Last summer, they poached a full-grown tiger at Umred-Karhandla wildlife sanctuary and one in Brahmapuri division. The court has not yet called for a surety from Keru. Ajit is lodged in Central Jail and has applied for bail. Ranjit has been absconding from March 2013 but no NBW was issued by the court. Luckily, he was arrested by Melghat forest officials from Andhra Pradesh in December last year for his role in poaching tigers in Melghat tiger reserve (MTR).
Even in the cases of Yarlen and Barsul, their addresses were not verified by the court. Baheliya poachers use fake names and also produce fake documents like ration cards and birth certificates to get out on bail. Recently, the birth certificates of two poachers, Mamru and Chika, submitted in court were found to be fake.
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