YCL cadres seize tiger bones, hide

Allege nexus between policemen and smugglers

Dhangadhi, June 6:

The Young Communist League said yesterday its cadres seized bones of striped tigers and tiger hide from a godown of Lokendra Rawat in Attariya bazaar, Kailali, on Wednesday.

According to the YCL, the bones weighed 34 kg.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of seven YCL cadres led by Dhangadhi in-charge Raj Kiran Chaudhari seized bones of two recently-killed tigers and the hide on Wednesday, the YCL said at a press conference yesterday.

“We came to know that in-charge of the Malakheti Police Post, Karna Bahadur Karki, had promised to a smuggler from Humla district, Sonam Lama, that he will retrieve the tiger skin and bones from the YCL if he pays him Rs 6 lakh,” Chaudhari said. “We could not arrest Lama as he had gone somewhere to bring money sought by the police,” Chaudhari said.

After the press conference, the YCL handed over the bones and hide to the District Forest Office.

“Instead of arresting the smugglers, the police demanded money from the smugglers. Earlier, Lama was involved in the smuggling of yarshagumba,” Chaudhari said. “We have come to know that there is a nexus between Lama’s gang and the police.”

“A 10.5 feet tall striped tiger might have been killed a week ago in the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve or Basanta Jungle,” deputy coordinator of the West Tarai Arc Landscape Programme, Tilak Dhakal, said.

Striped tigers are found only in the Shuklaphant Wildlife Reserve and Basanta Jungle of Kailali district, Dhakal said.

Hide of a striped tiger can fetch Rs 5 lakh, Dhakal said, adding that one kg of tiger bone costs Rs 40,000 in the market.

Acting chief of the Kailali District Forest Office, Khadananda Sapkota, pledged to begin a search for the smugglers.