Indian golfer arrested for poaching

At the time of arrest, police recovered a gun registered under Randhawa’s name and a wild boar skin among other equipment. (AFP pic)

NEW DELHI: Top Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa was arrested Wednesday for poaching at a forest reserve, an official said.

Randhawa, who was ranked in the world top 100 between 2004 and 2009, was taken into detention at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh state.

The 46-year-old and a companion killed a red junglefowl, Ramesh Pandey, the reserve’s field director, told AFP.

“Jyoti Singh Randhawa and Mahesh Virajdar have been arrested for poaching and unauthorised entry in a forest area,” Pandey said.

“A vehicle, weapon and other equipment have been seized with the skin of… (an) animal and a dead junglefowl.

“They have been sent to jail and further legal action is being taken.”

Randhawa took up shooting as his golfing career faded after winning the last of his eight Asian Tour titles, the Thailand Open, in 2009.

Media reports last month said Randhawa has a pack of hunting dogs that were used during the search for a man-eating tigress who was shot dead in the western state of Maharashtra.

India has been increasingly strict on poaching, with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan fighting a five-year jail sentence for killing endangered wildlife.

Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, was convicted this year of shooting dead two rare antelopes on a hunting trip in Rajasthan state in 1998.