March 1: Notorious poacher Durru, who was lodged in the city central jail for the last two years, was handed over to Gujarat police on Tuesday for an investigation into cases of killing of lions in Gir National Park.
A CID Forest Cell official said the accused was arrested for having links with Prabhakar Gajakosh, a forest contractor-turned-hunter. Gajakosh is behind bars ever since he was caught in 2007 with a whopping 23 leopard pelts.
Following investigation, it was revealed that Gajakosh had links with poachers in north India, including Sansar Chand, who was responsible for killing a number of tigers in Sariska and other tiger reserves up north. Officials from the CID Forest Cell said that accused Durru was arrested in 2007 and he will be brought back to the central prison in Bengaluru on March 16.
The Gujarat police had sought Durru’s custody in connection with the investigation into the poaching of 10 lions in a span of two months in a peculiar fashion in Gir. The lions were not shot, but were trapped using snares.
The operation was such that once the lion was trapped, women would close in on the trapped animal and kill it animals using spears and wooden clubs.
“The investigations revealed that the crime was done by members of Katni tribe in MP and it was also found that the tribesmen had contact with smugglers such as Gajakosh and Durru, who also hail from MP,” said a official.
Meanwhile, CID Forest Cell ADGP KSN Chikkerur said that DNA mapping of seized pelts is being handled by scientific agencies and soon there will be considerable amount of DNA data on tiger and leopard pelts available with CID. “It’s important to trace the origin of the pelt and where the animal was hunted. Several wildlife institutes and central investigating agencies are creating a DNA bank of tigers and soon this will hold the key to investigations in case there is a death of tiger,” Mr Chikkerur added.