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Six More Poachers Surrender

IMPHAL, Dec 22: Six more poachers who used to hunt wild animals including rare and endangered Sangai inside Keibul Lamjao National Park have surrendered to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) today.

Within the current year, the Forest Department has so far collected Rs 1, 10,000 as fine from poachers who hunted or tried to hunt wild animals inside Keibul Lamjao. Another poacher is facing a court case.

Following a specific tip off about some poachers trying to hunt wild animals on the western side of the park on Khordak side, four Forest Guards mounted strict vigil in the area.

The Forest Guards managed to seize some long-handled scythes and a large net on the night of December 16.

Though the poachers managed to flee away, their identities were known to the Forest Guards.

As such, the Forest Department asked them to surrender.

Subsequently, Salam Khelen of Khordak Awang Leikai surrendered to the department on December 20.

After Khelen, six other poachers surrendered to the Deputy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) at Sanjenthong today.

Those poachers who surrendered today have been identified as Ningthoujam Nanao (27), his younger brother N Shyamjai (22) s/o Maniyaima, Ningthoujam Chaoba (60) s/o late Babu and Salam Binodkumar (23) s/o of Tomba. All of them are from Khordak Awang Leikai.

The other two are Ningthoujam Boyai (24) s/o Munal and Salam Iboyai s/o Lukhoi of Thanga Salam Leikai. The net seized on December 16 belonged to Salam Iboyai.

From the seven poachers who surrendered to the department since December 20, the department has exacted a fine of Rs one lakh, said

Deputy Conservator of Forest (Park and Sanctuary) L Joykumar.

In case these poachers are found venturing inside Keibul Lamjao National Park for hunting ever again, they would be punished with imprisonment from three to seven years in addition to fine under the Wild Life Protection Act.

Out of Rs one lakh collected from the surrendered poachers, Rs 30,000 has been distributed as reward to the people who informed the department about the poaching activities and helped in identifying the poachers, Joykumar said.

He went on to say that the department would reward people who can give information about poaching activities.  One Md Chaoba who used to hunt wild animals with guns inside Keibul Lamjao National Park was arrested by police in April this year.

Three licensed guns used by Md Chaoba were seized by police. Md Chaoba is still facing a court case.

After Chaoba, another poacher identified as Md Chini of Hiyangkhong was arrested and he was penalized by imposing a fine of Rs 10,000, Joykumar added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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