Hatha Jodi: Busting The Illegal Monitor Lizard Organ Trade | 101 Underground

Tap the bell icon on the YouTube app And never miss out on unique stories from 101India Thousands of monitor lizards are getting killed And we are not aware of it There is no sexual dimorphism in monitor lizards Once they know that it is a male They put the monitor lizard on top of a fire We are actually in the final stages of an operation If all goes well, in the next hour We will be done with the operation What is this? What are these items? I don’t know What are you talking? You are selling this in your shop And you say you don’t know what you are selling? Madam has taken the key with her, sir Go, open the door! New Delhi, the capital of India Is a notorious transit point for the illegal wildlife trade In India and South Asia 101 India got exclusive access To document one such operation In the National Capital Region We will be following The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department team And three undercover wildlife crime investigators On their journey to arrest a suspect Two of them are veterans in
these kinds of covert operations They have busted several illegal wildlife
trades Over the last two decades The third, an undercover agent, is still a novice This is her first operation as a decoy And she has been dealing with the prime suspect For over three months, trying to crack him Her skills are going to be critical to the
success or failure of this operation This is a part of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau’s
(WCCB) Operation Wildnet Where we are looking at things sold online A team of WCCB officers And Wildlife Trust of India’s team are investigating it A year of research, information gathering
and tracking later The team has narrowed in on its target Decoy: Yes, sir ‘Astrologer’: I spoke to them ‘Astrologer’: I can get you hatha jodi ‘Astrologer’: We have 25 pieces Decoy: Okay ‘Astrologer’: You can transport this using
your own shipping vendor ‘Astrologer’: If, by chance, the Customs
department does an X-ray scan We have a man on the inside So our packages go through ‘Astrologer’: But since you are transporting it,
just add some more ‘sindoor’ So in the X-ray they will think these are religious items Decoy: Sure, we will do it as you suggested Decoy: Will this be a cash transaction? ‘Astrologer’: Yes Decoy: Brilliant. Let’s meet in the afternoon Decoy: By morning, just let me know
if you can also get ‘siyal singhi’ Our decoy has negotiated a deal With a self-proclaimed astrologer selling hatha jodis They are to meet the next day for the drop-off Thousands of monitor lizards are getting killed And we are not aware of it Thousands of them are getting killed because Their penis is supposed to have magical powers Monitor lizards are protected under Schedule I,
Part II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 It is a highly protected reptile Technically speaking, a monitor
lizard is as protected as A tiger, leopard or rhino in India One of our informants picked up the information That monitor lizards are killed for their ‘organ’ It is sold in the market as hatha jodi ‘Hatha jodi’ literally translates to ‘clasped hands’ Self-proclaimed astrologers Sell hatha jodi as the sacred root of a plant That brings health, wealth
and happiness to their owners Unsuspecting customers usually have no idea That this is not a plant But the sex organ of an endangered species There is no sexual dimorphism in monitor lizards Males and females look the same They have a hemipenis, which is inside the tail The poachers have to use a probe Or use their finger to find out Whether it is a male or a female Once they know that it is a male They put the monitor lizard on top of a fire And they burn the groin area After burning, they arch it backwards So the penis comes out As the penis comes out, they chop it off and dry it The dried penis is sold as hatha jodi This is the actual truth of hatha jodi There is no plant product Monitor lizards are known to have
been hunted for their meat and skin But this trade is something much more insidious Indiscriminate hunting could push this
already endangered species To the brink of extinction And much of this war is being fought online Where many such products are sold This is a kind of modern day warfare on conservation And cyberspace is the new battleground When we looked online for hatha jodi The results were very shocking Shocking because a lot of big
e-commerce websites had listed hatha jodi Almost all the leading e-commerce
websites had listed it We found some listings that were
up to ₹6,000 – ₹7,000 apiece Getting delivered in the UK and US ‘Astrologer’: Everything is genuine Decoy: Are they genuine,
meaning are they animal products? Decoy: Are you sure about that? ‘Astrologer’: Don’t worry about it ‘Astrologer’: It is our
guarantee that it is a genuine product ‘Astrologer’: We face problems
only when dealing in genuine products Undercover Officer 1: So, he knows what he is doing Undercover Officer 1: It’s not that he doesn’t know of it Undercover Officer 1: He is aware of the fact that it’s
difficult to deal in genuine hatha jodi Undercover Officer 1: It is already 17:12 Undercover Officer 1: We have to position ourselves Decoy: I guess we should leave The latest update is that the suspect has
already reached the meeting point He has contacted our team Saying that he has reached with the ‘material’ He’s asking where we are Now the police and the
Uttar Pradesh Forest Department team Along with the WCCB
officers are getting ready to nab him Our decoy will be meeting them in the next 10 minutes When an undercover operation is going on It is always planned There are certain rules Which the criminals know And the enforcement guys know So they play the game with these unwritten rules So this operation will also be played with those rules Our decoy will be there There will be somebody watching them We are absolutely aware that they
will be watching from other side also So wait for that Decoy: We went inside The guy started showing us the products It was hatha jodi About 25 pieces We were stalling for time By checking the product Saying, “This one is good” Or, “This one’s size is better…” Undercover Officer 2: Those people who claim That they can predict your future for the next 10 years Don’t even know that they will
get arrested in the next 24 hours And are going to be in serious trouble Undercover Officer 1: Who are you people? Uttar Pradesh Forest Officer: Stand up Uttar Pradesh Forest Officer: Seize his mobile Undercover Officer 1: What is this? ‘Astrologer’: I don’t know what this is Undercover Officer 1: Don’t you know
what this is? Is this yours? Undercover Officer 1: Whose items are these? ‘Astrologer’: They are her items Undercover Officer 1: What are you saying? Undercover Officer 1: Escort her out Undercover Officer 1: What are these items? ‘Astrologer’: I don’t know Undercover Officer 1: What are you saying? Undercover Officer 1: You are selling them in your shop Undercover Officer 1: And you say
you don’t know what it is? ‘Astrologer’: Can you please
tell me what I have done wrong? Uttar Pradesh Forest Officer: What are you storing here?
What are these items? ‘Astrologer’: These are some
items of witchcraft, which I don’t know Undercover Officer 1: Is this what
you were selling? What are these? ‘Astrologer’: They are called hatha jodi Undercover Officer 1: What is hatha jodi made of? ‘Astrologer’: It is a plant product Undercover Officer 1: It is not a plant product.
Don’t act smart and pretend to be a saint Undercover Officer 1: Seize all this The self-proclaimed astrologer’s cover is blown But perhaps his staff is hiding more evidence Staff Member:
Madam has taken the key with her, sir A little bit of prodding Uttar Pradesh Forest Officer: Go, open the door! Quickly revealed the scale of the business
they are running Both offline and online Most of these guys sell products online Because anonymity is maintained online This is how our digital revolution is happening, cashless Look at the efficiency of the system these days A snake charmer who is hunting in the forest Is getting an order because Somebody sitting in the US is buying it online Looks like we are pretty connected
with the digital revolution I think this should also be considered for
how the digital revolution is helping Decoy: They play with the superstitions of the people “Aura machine, we will fix your
love marriage, arranged marriage” “Hatha jodi can do all this” If hatha jodi is such a lucky charm,
why didn’t it work for him today? He had so many with him Look where he is now Several banned wildlife items Like hatha jodi, sea fans, seashells And ‘siyal singhi’ are seized from the operation Multiple bank accounts And multiple identities of the so called astrologer Are also seized For me the success of this operation Is the removal of the keyword ‘hatha jodi’
from e-commerce websites Say within 7 days If you search for hatha jodi online,
you should not find it The ongoing investigation since the arrest Has been conducted off camera The investigation continues to reveal shocking facts The so called astrologer we caught Allegedly has a big network of poachers and traders And has allegedly been doing
business internationally Both offline and online It was also revealed that the suspect
was an ex-Customs inspector We also need to go online for awareness We need to tell people that it’s bullshit Hatha jodi is not the root of a plant, it’s not a herb It is the penis of a monitor lizard Which is obtained by killing a
Schedule 1 protected animal It is a very serious crime ‘Astrologers’ like the one arrested
haven’t just been selling Protected wild animal parts But are in effect selling our national treasures Part of our ecosystem This operation, code-named Wildnet Is probably the biggest illegal
wildlife trade bust of recent times Since Operation Wildnet Most major e-commerce websites In coordination with WCCB Have taken down the listings of hatha jodi This has dealt a big blow to
the illegal trade of hatha jodi Hopefully, a fatal one

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