Bhopal: In a major breakthrough, Madhya Pradesh STF-wildlife has arrested one of the most wanted tiger poachers, Yarlen alias Luzalen alias Jasrat,, whose bizarre fetish for hunting bears to eat their penises had put him on the wanted list in several states. With his arrest, the mystery of the poaching of tigress T13 has been solved — she died at his hands, Yarlen has told SIT.
The 30-year-old was arrested after a six-year chase. Yarlen had jumped bail in 2014 and was pursued by police but fell off the radar. The MP SIT did not give up and tracked him to a small shanty on the Gujarat-Vadodara highway, where he had settled down only recently.
Three fake voter IDs and Aadhar cards were seized from him. During interrogation, he admitted that he became a poacher at 15 and has since killed several tigers, sloth bears, hundreds of wild boars and peacocks. He had a unique ‘barter system’ with sarpanchs of some villages so that they didn’t nose around — he’d hunt wild boars and gift it to them to buy their silence.
Yarlen was wildlife STF’s first assignment. This unit was constituted by the MP forest department after the recovery of sloth bear carcasses with their reproductive organs missing. According to sources, Yarlen has told his interrogators that he killed many sloth bears to eat their private parts, as he believes it is the best aphrodisiac.
The role of a global syndicate that blackmarkets reproductive organs and gall bladders of male sloth bears is under examination. “Yarlen has supplied to international markets, but his reach was up to Delhi and he is unaware of links across the border,” an STF officer said, adding: “Yarlen seems to have killed many bears on orders from businessman. One of them is from Chhattisgarh.” Yarlen is being questioned over two bear kills near the buffer zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve and several others in Chhindwara, Betul and Burhanpur in 2014.
Sloth bears are protected by Indian laws and listed as a ‘vulnerable species’ on the IUCN Red list. However, myths regarding gall bladder bile and reproductive organs of these animals — from cures for cancer, chronic pain, asthma and sinusitis to boosting virility — have turned into their nemesis. “Gall bladder bile is more expensive than narcotics in the black market,” say sources.
T13 Mystery Solved
Yarlen has admitted to STF that he killed tigress T13 in Pench Reserve, say sources. Her skin was found in Nepal, triggering one of the biggest cross-border manhunts. T13’s disappearance had sparked a furore across the country. She was last camera-trapped with its cubs in Raikassa area of Pench on February 28, 2012. Then, they vanished. It remained a mystery until T13’s hide was confiscated 1,500-km away in Nepal on January 12, 2013. Poacher Lodu Dime was arrested at Kathmandu airport on an Interpol red corner notice after being convicted in absentia by Nepalese authorities. MP wildlife STF suspects Dime’s involvement in smuggling of tiger hides from MP and has initiated talks with Interpol and Nepal police to have him extradited in connection with poaching of T13. Now, Yarlen’s arrest will strengthen India’s case for extradition.
Slipped Out In 2014
Yarlen had asked his mother, in Pardhi dialect, to dispose of a tiger skin when he was arrested in 2014. MP officials had translated it for their Maharashtra counterparts, who too were after Yarlen for a long time. Yarlen and his uncle Barsul were picked up for the first time in June 2014 by MP STF after a long chase. Despite sustained interrogation, both misled investigators by identifying themselves as Aryan and Lusalen. Call detail records of Yarlen revealed that he was in touch with tiger poachers Mamru and Chika and Sarju, a Delhi-based agent linked to Ranjeet Bawaria of Haryana. All of them are allegedly linked to Tashi Tshering, known to be main supplier of tiger skins and bones to China, Tibet and several western countries.