Four arrested for poaching peacocks in Rajasthan

June 17th, 2012 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, June 17 (IANS) Four men were arrested for poaching peacocks in Rajasthan’s Jalore district Sunday, police said.

According to the police, the poaching took place in Bhanwarni area of the district, some 400 km from Jaipur.

“Some villagers heard guns shots in the early hours and informed police. A team that was immediately rushed there found carcasses of some peacocks. The protected birds had been shot dead,” a police officer told IANS.

“As the villagers had come out of their houses after hearing the shots, the poachers escaped. However, we identified them and arrested them. The four men, Shernath, Surabhnath, Pappunath and Jabarnath, are residents of a nearby village and were part of a racket involved in poaching peacocks for their feathers and meat,” the officer added.

Animal rights activists allege at least 10 peacocks are being killed in Rajasthan every day.

“Peacocks are killed for feathers and meat. Oil is also extracted from their bodies. Farmers also poison them to protect their fields,” said Babulal Jaju, state head of NGO People For Animals.

He added that the bird is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and poachers can be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment with a fine of Rs.50,000.

“Despite that, peacock killings are going on unabated in the state,” said Jaju.

“In our letter to the chief minister recently, we have demanded that action should be taken against the forest, administration and police officials of the area where peacock killings are reported,” he said.

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