Tiger poacher convicted to 3 years rigorous imprisonment

New Delhi: A court in Khatima, Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand had sentenced notorious tiger poacher Birbal alias Totha Ram, a resident of Panipat to three years rigorous imprisonment and fine of rupess 10,000 in connection with the seizure of 12ft long tiger skin on August 2004.

The staff of Terai East Forest Division, Uttarakhand with the assistance of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) had arrested bawariya poacher Totha Ram with a tiger skin from Banbasa in 2004. Closed inspection of the skin showed that animal was shot and 16 bullet marks were found on the skin. A case under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 was registered at Khatima range.

After close examination of the case Civil Judge, Mr. Kuldeep Sharma had awarded sentence to Totha Ram. Recently he was again caught with antlers, tiger trap and other poaching tools when he was on bail in tiger skin case.

“Conviction rate in wildlife cases are very low, sentencing of a poacher like Totha Ram will make a difference. Uttarakhand Forest Department had done a commendable job” said, Belinda Wright, Executive Director of WPSI.

Bawariya poaching gangs are active in different parts of the county, recently his sister Dilpo was convicted to five years rigorous imprisonment by a court in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, for a 1992 tiger case. She had earlier been convicted in November 2005, by a court in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, for carrying the skin and bones of a tiger that was killed at Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in February 2005.

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