Golfer Jyoti Randhawa, in the police custody for illegal poaching in the Dudhwa National Park wildlife sanctuary, may land in more trouble even as an Uttar Pradesh court has fixed January 7 for a hearing on his bail plea.
The professional golfer has earned laurels for India and had finished atop the Asian Tour rankings in 2002. He landed in trouble for allegedly poaching endangered species in the Uttar Pradesh wildlife sanctuary.
Dudhwa National Park Forest Director and Chief Conservator Ramesh Kumar Pandey has now referred to Randhawa’s case to the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate for further investigation. The Forest Department authorities have also reportedly shared Randhawa’s PAN and Aadhar detail with the economic offences investigators.
The Forest Department officials had arrested Randhawa along with national level shooter Mahesh Virajdar from the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in the Motipur Range of Katerniaghat on December 26.
His bail plea will come up for hearing on Monday, January 7. The prosecution is claiming to have a strong case against the golfer and his accompalish.
The investigation authorities have reportedly seized a .22 mm rifle, bullets, a hunted fowl, and animal skin along with ₹ 36,500 from the golfer, his SUV, firearms, other hunting equipment and wildlife objects were also seized at the time of his arrest.
The Divisional Forest Officer, Katerniaghat, was leading the investigation into the poaching case.
The forest department officials had reportedly intercepted Randhawa’s vehicle on the Christmas Day after having noticed his “suspiciously roaming around” in the forest area for three days.
He reportedly also owns a farm in Motipur, the area of his and Virajdar’s arrest. The 46-year-old, who turned professional inn 1994, has been ranked among the Top 100 in the world golf rankings between 2004 and 2009.