Thane: Keeping animal parts will give offenders 3 years of “good luck” in prison | Thane news

THANE: If you thought keeping illegal wildlife as a talisman would bring good luck, think again. There is nothing lucky about the three years in prison or the 10,000 rupee fine that keeping such illegal items will attract. Government officials are now planning to crack down on those who buy, sell and store these products.
It is a common practice, though illegal, for some to keep the private parts of a male monitor lizard, or black coral, due to the superstition that they bring good luck, animal activists have said. These items are also used in black magic rituals or for vastu.

Most buyers have no idea that it is illegal to buy these items.
In September 2021, the private parts (called “hatha jodi” in the local language) of 50 monitor lizards and 250 units of black coral (aka antipatharians) were seized from a Vastu consultant in Kalyan. Activists said these items are sold freely by astrologers and Vastu consultants, as well as stores selling pooja accessories.
Sunish Subramanian Kunju, Honorary Wildlife Custodian and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Volunteer, told TOI: “We have heard that vast experts are selling such things to businessmen, politicians and Bollywood personalities. We would like to call on these people to refrain from buying or keeping such things as it might get you in trouble with the law.
The current rate for these illegal items is between Rs 500 and Rs 5,000. A consultant Vastu from Dombivli said: “After raids by forest officials, some have stopped trading in hatha jodi and black coral, but many top Vastu consultants and astrologers from Mumbai still sell them in secret.
Chandramani Yadav of PAWS-Mumbai said: “Due to superstitious beliefs, people use such objects, which incites wildlife to be killed.
A senior forestry official said if people have information, report it to the local rangeland manager.

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