Wildlife smuggling case filed against 47 people including two province assembly membersThe Parsa National Park Office filed the case against the individuals for allegedly abetting illegal hunting and trafficking of wildlife.
Gobinda Prasad Pokharel
A case has been filed at the Parsa National Park Office against 47 individuals, including two provincial assembly lawmakers of Madhesh and Bagmati provinces and a former rural municipality chairman, on the charge of illegal wildlife hunting and smuggling.
According to the National Park’s Chief Conservation Officer Ashok Ram, a case has been registered against provincial assembly members—Pramod Kumar Jaiswal of Madhesh Province and Shyam Khadka of Bagmati Province—and former chairman of Prasauni Rural Municipality Pradip Jaiswal, for abetting illegal hunting and trafficking of wildlife.
The incident came to light after a team from the Parsa National Park confiscated two deer carcasses and hunting equipment at lawmaker Jaiswal’s Sakhuwa Prasauni-based residence on December 19, 2022.
Lawmaker Pramod Kumar and his brother Pradip have been booked under Article 29 of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 for abetting illegal hunting and poaching.
Similarly, the national park has written to the District Police Office to file a separate case against lawmaker Khadka under the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1962, stating that an investigation following the incident revealed that Khadka allowed the poachers to use a rifle registered in his name to kill the wild animals.
Pramod Kumar, who is a member of the Madhesh Province Assembly, was elected from Parsa constituency 3 (a) as an independent candidate while Khadka, a Bagmati Province Assembly lawmaker from the Nepali Congress was elected from Kathmandu constituency 5 (b) and Pradip Jaiswal is a member of the Janata Samajbadi Party.
Of the defendants, Jhapas Das Tharu, Navraj Basne, Vishial Sahni, Damodar Adhikari, Mlang Dong Tamang, Prakash KC, Sulam Miya Ansari, and Bhola Bahadur Thapa Pun Magar, have been charged under Section 26(3) of the Act which amounts to one year in prison or Rs50,000 fine. Meanwhile, the Jaiswal brothers and Khadka will likely receive half the sentence and fine under the Act for their involvement as accomplices in the crime.
Sushil Devkota, the District Attorney of Parsa, said that the District Attorney Office Parsa decided to make 47 people defendants based on the evidence collected and testimonies of the accused and file a case at the Parsa National Park on January 17.
“The case involving wildlife and of this nature comes under the national park’s jurisdiction as the act has clearly stated that cases, where the punishment is less than a year, should be filed at the respective national park,” said Devkota.
Similarly, the park has decided to confiscate the vehicles, six mobile phones, and guns among other case-related items found at the crime scene.
The park has further decided to investigate the incident as per the Control of Internationational Trade in Endangered Wildlife and Plants (CITES) Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.