Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa has been arrested in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh on charges of poaching in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Forest authorities have seized a .22 rifle from his possession, along with an SUV, wild boar skin, a dead jungle fowl and other hunting equipment.
"A vehicle bearing a Haryana registration number and other equipment were also recovered from him. Another person, identified as Mahesh Virajdar, was arrested with Randhawa near Motipur range of Katarniaghat," field officer Ramesh Pandey told PTI.
Katarniaghat divisional forest officer and his team have initiated further interrogation and legal action in the case, Pandey further added. He will be booked under several wildlife protection acts.
Randhawa owns a farm in Katarniaghat and was roaming in the area for the past few days. He was stopped by forest officials after they found that he was carrying a gun and hunting equipment in wildlife protected area.
Randhawa is a professional golfer and has featured in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking various times between 2004 and 2009. He has participated in the European tour and Asian tour. He was married to actress Chitrangada Singh, before the couple split in 2014.
Some animal rights activists have tweeted that Randhawa had bought his hunting dogs during the search for tigress Avni in the forests of Yavatmal in Maharashtra. Avni was shot dead on November 2 earlier this year. Randhawa has also participated in international shooting competitions recently.
Edited by Vivek Punj
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