Four held with cheetah hide

Mahendranagar, May 4:

The Kanchanpur District Police Office arrested four persons with six pieces of cheetah hide from Kasaraul Jungle of Jhalari VDC-7 on Friday.

The four were trying to smuggle the contraband into India.

The arrested were identified as Pratap Singh Thagunna, 60, and Ram Bahadur Dhami, 50, of Jhalari VDC-6 of Kanchanpur and Ramdin Rana, 40, and Dhirendra Rana, 24, of Jhalari VDC-3.

Thagunna has been smuggling cheetah hide from Nepal to India for the last 15 years, police informed.

The arrested poachers have confessed to killing five cheetahs in the jungles of Kanchanpur district, assistant conservation officer at the Suklaphanta Wildlife Conservation Park Nilamber Mishra informed.

The seized hide can fetch Rs 3 million in the international market, he further informed. The arrested could be imprisoned for 10 years or fined Rs 1 lakh or sentenced both, Mishra said, citing the Wildlife Conservation Act.