Police on Tuesday arrested four persons for smuggling leopard skin and body parts of the animal from Gaidakot VDC of Nawalparasi district. The Area Police Office (APO) of Gaidakot arrested Kum Bahadur Suparpark, Man Bahadur Aale and Tek Bahadur Sunari Magar of Pahadi VDC in the district and Gopal Tamang of Bharatpur Municipality from Thusmi of Gaidakot. The police also seized an illegal firearm from them, reported the APO.
According to preliminary investigation, Kum Bahadur is the leader of the criminal gang while the other three arrested were hired by the former as carriers, said inspector Narayan Adhikari. “Kum Bahadur killed the leopard to extract its skin and other body parts.”
Adhikari also said that Kum Bahadur was arrested while trying to sell the leopard skin and body parts for Rs 110, 000 to local businessman. In his statement to the police, Kum Bahadur has said that he killed the leopard after it started killing his goats. He has denied killing the leopard to smuggle its parts.
Later, the police had recovered an illegal firearm hidden in a goat shed owned by Kum Bahadur. “A visitor had arrived in my village and said he would pay me Rs 10,000 if I sold the leopard skin and its body parts to him,” Kum Bahadur told Republica.
The APO on Wednesday handed over the arrested to the District Forest Office, Chitwan.If found guilty, Kum Bahadur would be slapped a fine of Rs 40,000- Rs 70,000 and one to 10 years in jail or both.