Bibi Jaan Busted After 20 Years
The Forest Watch team was tracking the ever-elusive 'Lady Trader' who was one of the suppliers to Kalandars across the country. We first received information about this lady when we rescued Guna bear from a trader in 2004.
A tip off from a poacher stolid one of our decoy traders about a secure and regular source controlled by a lady who could supply as many as 20-25 bear cubs in a season. It took the team one year to find Bibi Jaan, and another three months to catch her red handed.
A Forest Watch decoy, who posed as a Sadhu (hermit) from Orissa, assured her that he would buy the entire stock of five cubs for a Russian circus owner. He went with a reference from another trader (who got arrested later too) to establish his authenticity. After a few days of meetings, the decoy, along with the 'Russian Circus Owner' was taken to the place where the poached cubs were hidden.
The Karnataka Forest Department was informed and within a few hours Bibi Jaan and some of her associates were arrested in two separate raids.
The arrest of Bibi Jaan ensured that no cubs will be poached or sold from the area where she was operating. This one lady was virtually controlling the entire cub trade mafia with assistance from her close relatives.
The legal wing of Forest Watch, headed by an experienced wildlife lawyer, is following up on the case. Bibi Jaan and her associates are now behind the bars, still trying to figure out how they were arrested by the authorities who had been clueless about their operation for twenty years.