Katni, 11 November 2008
The Judicial Magistrate in Katni, Madhya Pradesh, Mr Ajay Singh, today convicted notorious tiger and leopard trader Shabbir Hasan Qureshi of Allahabad to three years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000 on two separate counts.
Qureshi and a second accused, Ashok Pardhi, were both absconders in a 2004 case where seven leopard skins were seized near Shadhol in Madhya Pradesh. After Qureshi s arrest in December 2007 in Allahabad with three tiger skins and three tiger skeletons, his custody was procured by the Katni Forest Department. His trial began on the 2004 case in January this year.
The case was fought by WPSI Advocate Manjula Srivastava on behalf of the Katni Forest Department, with the active assistance of WPSI personnel. Within ten months the case was concluded and the two accused, Qureshi and Pardhi, were convicted on two separate counts under Sections 49b and 52 and of The Wild Life (Protection) Act for Trade and Attempts and Abetments . Qureshi and Pardhi received a sentence of three years rigorous imprisonment on both counts (making a total of six years each), and a fine of Rs. 10,000 on each count.
We are absolutely delighted that this notorious big cat trader has been convicted. Qureshi is believed to have traded in about 600 dead tigers, and the outcome of the case in Katni is a great victory for India s wildlife , said Nitin Desai, WPSI s Director in Central India on hearing the news in Katni.
Shabbir Hasan Qureshi, who is a resident of Allahabad, UP, is an accused in a number of other wildlife cases including the major seizure in Khaga, UP, in January 2000, of four tiger skins, 70 leopard skins and a huge haul of other wildlife products. He is also the prime accused in the December 2007 seizure of three tiger skins and three tiger skeletons in Allahabad. Both these cases have been handed over to the CBI.
Belinda Wright, Executive Director
WILDLIFE PROTECTION SOCIETY OF INDIA (WPSI)
S-25, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110 017, India
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