Army Brigadier’s Son Arrested in Leh for Poaching

Heena Muzzafar

SRINAGAR

Son of a serving Indian army Brigadier has been arrested in cold desert for poaching.

According to a report published by Reach Ladakh three persons were arrested in connection with ‘Urial Shapo’ poaching case in Leh on April 14.

Police have identified accused as Havaldar Kata Prahsan, Lance Naik Inder Soni Singh of 254 Armoured Regiment and one civilian Arjun Mehta son of  Brigadier Balraj Mehta residence of Dwarka, New Delhi the guest of the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Regiment, Col Bhanupratap Singh.

The trio were caught by wildlife rangers while they were patrolling an area near Magnetic Hill.

The weapons carried by the trio, including a telescopic gun, ammunition and an Army Gypsy bearing registration no. 14B 113935M were seized by the police. Fresh blood stain in the vehicle was also recovered.

Wildlife authorities have been receiving reports of illegal poaching.

On April 13 around 4PM, movement of some people was reported when they were chasing wild animals and firing shots were heard thrice, the report said.

Wildlife Warden Leh, Tsering Angchok has directed all the rangers to be alert to the nearby areas.

“The staff of the wildlife chased the person and arrested him red-handed and also seized the vehicle of the army in the valley and the weapon also,” the report added.

Police have booked Mehta under FIR15/2016 on April 13 under Section 8/51 Wild Life Protection Act and Section 7/27 of the Indian Arms Act, it said.

1000-1500 Urial ‘Shapos’ are found all over the world.

“Ladakh Urial” is found only in Ladakh and its habitat is near the rivers and human settlements thus getting more reachable to hunters. “Since it is an endangered species, it becomes very important to protect them. The point is just talking about environment won’t help to safeguard it. It becomes a huge responsibility of each and every one to save the wildlife and the environment,” wild life officials said.

‘Ladakh Urial’ weighs 85 Kg and has horns measuring up to 99 cm and it is the smallest of the world sheep in eastern Asia. These sheep prefer the grassy mountain slopes, usually at a height of 3,000-4,000 meters.

“It is the highly endangered species for which strict enforcement and increasing conservation awareness are leaded to increase the population. The matter of concern is that if such poaching case happens within the peripheral of Leh town then the wildlife violation are at high risk in the far-flung areas,” an official from Wild Life department Leh said.

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