CHITWAN, May 21: A former pilot and a Nepal Army soldier are among 19 individuals have been sentenced by Chitwan National Park (CNP) for involvement in rhino poaching and trading of rhino horns.
Former pilot Ramesh Chandra Pokharel has been given a prison sentence of 14 years and eight months, while NA soldier Madhav Bahadur Budhathoki has been given eight years apart from slapping a fine of Rs 50,000.
CNP´s Chief Warden Narendra Man Babu Pradhan gave such sentences on Thursday. One Hari Bahadur BK of Dumarwana, Bara has been served a jail sentence of 15 years apart from a fine of Rs 100,000. Pokharel and Budhathoki were arrested on the basis of information provided by BK.
Former pilot Pokharel, 76, is a permanent resident of Dillibazaar, Kathmandu. Pokharel owns land in Dumarwana, Bara, which was gifted to him by King Mahendra. BK told police during interrogation that he was taught how to shoot guns by Pokharel 14 years ago. BK has killed nine rhinos so far, according to CNP.
Meanwhile, Budhathoki, who is also a resident of Dumarwana, Bara, was stationed at the Jungle Warfare Military School run in Amlekhgunj by Nepal Army when he was arrested. Budhathoki has been found to have supplied army bullets to Pokharel. According to CNP, he supplied 100 bullets to Pokharel.