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Bhopal City
Poaching of tiger cub: Three arrested from MP deputy speaker’s farm

BHOPAL: A day after a male tiger cub was killed by poachers inside the farm owned by deputy speaker of Madhya Pradesh Assembly Rajendra Singh, state forest officials have arrested three people including farm’s caretaker Kundan Sahu. Spread over 50 acres Singh’s farmhouse house is located in buffer zone of Bandhavgarh National Tiger Reserve in Umaria district.

Two other accused arrested were identified as members of Baiga tribe - Ram Prasad Baiga and Jamuna Baiga. During a search of the farm forest officials have recovered two more GI-wire traps.

State's chief wildlife warden Narendra Kumar said, “The accused have confessed to laying traps for poaching wild boars and other wild animals.” Carcass of the cub, aged less than one year, was found inside the farm with its neck trapped in a snare made of GI wire.

Officers suspect the cub died more than 30 hours before carcass was found. A tigress and another sibling of the cub that accompanied it were lured to the park by forest guards.

Sahu was taken into custody from his house in Baansa after a preliminary offence report was registered. A sniffer dog squad that was called for investigation reached Sahu's house, less than a kilometer from where the carcass was recovered on Sunday, said sources.

Singh, who initially feigned ignorance about involvement of his caretaker Kundan Sahu saidthat he would cooperate with the investigators and has no objections if government wants to acquire his farm.

He said the land was bought three decades ago. "We were not using it even for even agricultural activity. I have only been there for 2 or 3 times in past 20 years," Singh said.

He said it was Sahu who used to inform forest officials about any tiger movements in the locality. "Government should conduct a thorough probe into the issue" he said.

Singh had held industry portfolio in Digvijay Singh-led Congress government.