TWO HUNDRED and fifty tigers, 2,000 leopards, 5,000 otters, 20,000 wild cats, 20,000 wild foxes and Sansar Chandstill counting. That’s the number of wild animals that law enforcers have been able to count as falling prey to the deadly trade plied by Sansar Chand, 55, dubbed the Veerappan of the North, in the four decades since he took to a life of crime. He himself says they are “uncountable” and betrays no remorse about this mayhem.
The incorrigible poacher and his partners in crime, at least five of them family members, have been apprehended in as many as 57 cases in a bid to link him to seizure of large caches of animal parts. But thanks to shoddy investigations, apathy of State authorities, possible bribery of witnesses and weak laws, Sansar Chand has so far been acquitted in 10 cases and convicted only in one. Seven cases are still pending. Right now he is lodged in Jaipur central jail, but is looking forward to freedom after serving a five year term.