Three more mobile squads to counter Baheliya threat

The arrest of Prabhakar Keshav Gajkosh and Abdul Khader Chowdary, the associates of notorious illegal wildlife trader Sansar Chand in December  2007 and the arrest of Doro, another associate of Chand in August 2009, has led to the startling revelation about the nexus between local Hakki Pikki tribesmen and Baheliyas. It has also revealed that the tribesmen are now targeting Uttara Kannada.

Further interrogations have also revealed that Baheliyas are already in action in some of the regions adjoining Goa in Karnataka. “They are looking for tribals in the region to work together. They already have contacts with Hakki Pikkis and other tribes. This is their modus operandi,” said K S N Chikkerur, Additional Director General of Police, CID Forest Cell.

New squads
To counter the Baheliya threat, the CID Forest Cell will soon set up three mobile squads at Sirsi, Ankola and Karwar taking the total number of squads to 20.

Two mobile squads already exist in Bangalore, one each in Mysore, Chamrajanagar, Kollegal, Madikeri, Somwarpet, Virajpet, Mangalore, Puttur, Sakleshpur, Chikmaglur, Channagiri, Sagar, Hubli, Belgaum and Dandeli.

The tribe which has sneaked into the forest-rich areas along the borders of Karnataka and Goa –– in districts of Belgaum and Uttara Kannada –– are active in Khanapur, Londa, Tavargahatti, Nagargali, Alnavar and Castle Rock.

According to the CID Forest Cell, some of the arrests made in Belgaum have revealed that they either came from Chandgadh in Kolhapur district or Miraj in Sangli district.

About Baheliyas
Baheliyas, also known as Shikaris, have been responsible for most of the tiger deaths in the country, especially in Sariska and Ranthambore.

Hailing from Khatni in Madhya Pradesh, these tribesmen were traditionally hunters and supplied Mughals with live birds.

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