, TNN | Oct 3, 2012, 05.40AM IST
BHOPAL: Kailash Singh – an accused who was declared ‘dead’ during trials of a 1999 poaching case of Bandhavgarh tigress ‘Sita‘ in Umaria lower court – has been caught ‘alive’ by the Chhattisgarh police.
The baffled Madhya Pradesh police, in order to get his custody from Chhattisgarh police, arrested him under Arms Act and brought him to Umaria on Tuesday. Sources said, Kailash, 45, was arrested by the Podi police in Koriya district of Chhattisgarh under Section 109 of IPC during a routine patrolling drive on Saturday.
During interrogation by Podi police, he identified himself as Kalyan Singh and said that he was living in Chhattisgarh since last 10 years after being acquitted in a case registered against him at Manpur police station of Madhya Pradesh’s Umaria district.
On suspicion, when Podi police emailed his picture to Manpur police, it was found Kalyan Singh’s face resembled to the ‘legally’ dead Kailash Singh.
“We have arrested him from Chhattisgarh under Arms Act. Once his identity is confirmed we will take him on production warrant from the Podi police station for trials in the poaching case,” Umaria superintendent of police (SP) Manohar Singh told TOI. It seems that he had faked his own death to escape the trials and conviction, said SP.
In 1999, Kailash Singh was arrested by the Manpur police along with three others – Singhar Singh, Ragvendra Singh alias Jhallu and Ram Milan alias Millu in connection with an idol theft case.
They allegedly confessed to their involvement in poaching of ‘Sita’ (tigress known globally) and the hide was also confiscated. All four were charge sheeted by the Manpur police (No 80/2000) under relevant sections of Wild Life Protection Act. Interestingly, the forest department had also filed a separate chargesheet (POR 160/2000) in the same case as remains of the tigress were recovered from within the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. So both cases were merged by Umaria chief judicial magistrate (CJM).
While three of the accused were convicted, Kailash’s name was removed following submission of his ‘death certificate’ by his relatives. An appeal by the convicts is pending before the MP high court.
An NGO titled ‘Tiger Trust’ had made intervention in the case under ”Hunting the hunter project” for motivating witnesses in the case. It was probably the first case where in tiger poachers were convicted, says Rishi Bhatt, a wild life activist and ex-member of Tiger Trust.
“We had inputs that Kailash was alive, but we had no authorization to challenge the ‘death certificate’,” Bhatt told TOI adding persons who issued the fake death certificate should also brought to book.