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Poacher held

P. Oppili

CHENNAI: The anti-naxal operation team of Theni and Dindigul districts has secured a poacher of Virudhunagar district.

V. Balakrishnan, Superintendent of Police, Theni district, said following a tip-off that Vanaraj was in possession of a country-made weapon, a police team arrested him from his house at Watrap more than a fortnight ago. A case under Section 25 (1) A of the Indian Arms Act has been registered. When contacted, Forest Department sources said Vanaraj was suspected to be involved in poaching in Varushanadu and Vellimalai forest areas in Theni district. He was also allegedly involved in ganja cultivation in interior forest areas.

Another forest officer said Vanaraj would go to interior forest areas after 7 p.m. Once an animal was killed he would skin it and dispose of the skin safely. He would return home early in the morning. His main targets were spotted deer, sambar, Nilgiri Tahr and Nilgiri Langur. The deer species were killed for their meat and the Nilgiri Langur for medicinal properties. He used to charge up to Rs.10,000 for a Nilgiri Langur and, over the last few years, had created a network in Theni, Virudhunagar and surrounding areas.

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