Tiger Skin, 33 Lion Nails Recovered By Police In Shirdi, Used For Rings, Lockets & Consumption
The Jaipur police on Sunday, July 15, recovered a tiger’s skin, 33 lion nails and 12 fake silver coins from a house in Shirdi, Maharashtra.
As per The Times of India, the Police had arrested Ajay Kumar Gokhru on July 1, from Manak in Rajasthan, with lion nails. After questioning him, the police got to know about the whereabouts of other two wildlife smugglers in Shirdi. Both Rajesh Bhonsle and Gajanand Panwar were taken into custody on July 11. According to the information received by the police, two teams were sent to their native place. A Tigerskin, antique items and fake silver coins were recovered from there.
“During interrogation, the smugglers revealed that they used to poach big cats with the help of tribal people. In return for their help in poaching, the accused used to give food grains, oil and other items to them,” said DCP (north) Satyendra Singh to NDTV.
Bhosle and Panwar used to sell rudraksha and semi-precious stones on a footpath near the famous Sai Baba Mandir in Shirdi while also arranging lion nails and other items on the side
according to demand.
Reportedly, Gokhru has severe financial constraints due to which he started selling illegal items. The skin of any big cat can fetch around Rs One lakh. So, Gokhru told police that he was under much debt which compelled him to indulge in smuggling.
Reports suggest that this could be linked to a big network of poachers and investigations are underway.
The Logical Indian Take
Human greed, superstitions and outdated beliefs are driving many species towards extinction. In India, and in other parts of SE Asia, lion and tiger claws are highly valued as items with ‘ magical properties’ which supposedly help with impotence, will-power, courage etc.
In today’s day and age, where cultivation of scientific temper is a must, a demand for these items is still keeping poachers in business.