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Former legislator surrenders in Nagpur in tiger skin case

June 16, 2005 01:50 IST

Former legislator Subhash Karemore, in trouble because of his alleged involvement in the illicit trade of tiger skins, finally surrendered before wildlife authorities after evading the law for almost a week.

Karemore has been 'detained', sources in the Forest Department said. However, it is not yet clear whether he has been formally placed under arrest.

Five other associates of Karemore, including two family members, have also been detained in this connection, the sources said.

All the six have been taken to Ramtek township near Nagpur for further investigations in the case, forest officials said.

The authorities were looking for Karemore after two persons arrested after trying to sell a tiger skin named him as the person who had actually initiated the sale. The former legislator's alleged involvement in the episode has created a sensation in political circles in the region.

Karemore on Wednesday informed Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests Naresh Zurmure that he wanted to 'make a statement' in connection with the episode. Officials said that although Karemore wanted to make a statement, the department was treating it as his desire to surrender before the law.

Karemore and his associates reached Zurmure's office around 1.30 pm on Wednesday in a private car. They were closeted for almost two hours. Later, they emerged from the office and sped away in the department's vehicles.

There was no official word about whether Karemore had been formally placed under arrest or not, except that all the suspects were being taken to Ramtek for an 'identification parade'.

The department has definite information that the tiger whose skin was seized was killed about five years ago in a jungle in Madhya Pradesh, bordering Bhandara district of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Karemore obtained the skin through an intermediary shortly after the animal was hunted down. The skin remained in possession of the Karemore family for the last five years, sources said.

The department also has information that the Karemore family has been involved in the illicit trade of animal skins and other such goods for several years. However, nobody was willing to comment officially on this aspect, saying the entire matter was under investigation.

Meanwhile, Karemore has denied involvement in the illicit trade, saying the whole thing was a political conspiracy to malign his image. He has also expressed his willingness to cooperate with the probe.

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