Boxing coach held for poaching, three leopard skins worth Rs 9 lakh recovered

A boxing coach was arrested on Friday afternoon by the Crime Branch for allegedly poaching endangered animals. Police also recovered three rare leopard skins worth Rs nine lakh, which the accused had procured by poaching.

Acting on a tip-off, Crime Branch officials laid a trap at the GT Karnal Road in Outer Delhi and arrested the accused, identified as Meetu Singh, who is from Himachal Pradesh.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Chand said, "Meetu, along with some of his associates, hunted in the forests of the Shivalik Range in Himachal Pradesh. They have been hunting for the last five years. We have registered a case against the accused under the Wildlife Act."

Singh told police that he and his associates had killed more than 10 leopards and the skins were then sold in Shimla, McLeodganj and Dharamshala.

Singh told police that he identified places where the leopards would drink water, after which they laid their trap on the path. The trap would clamp the leopard's jaws as soon as the animal stepped on it.

When its jaws were trapped, Singh told police that he and his associates thrashed the animal to death.

The skin of the animals would be then removed and preserved carefully. Singh said that well-preserved skins fetched a much higher price in the market.

Police said Singh was a boxing coach in Rohru. "Singh has represented his state in junior boxing championships. He is one of the members of a large gang of poachers who specialise in trapping and killing leopards for their skin and fur," said a police officer. The police are now on the lookout for three others named by Singh as his associates.

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