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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Court sentences five residents of Assam to three-year jail for elephant tusk smuggling

Jagannath Mondal, Chandan Biswas, Ratneswar Barman, Tilak Barman and Sanjoy Barman were carrying tusks in a car headed towards Siliguri in June this year

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 28.12.23, 05:29 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Five residents of Assam arrested earlier this year for smuggling elephant tusks were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment (RI) for three years by a local court here on Wednesday.

Jagannath Mondal, Chandan Biswas, Ratneswar Barman, Tilak Barman and Sanjoy Barman, who are from Assam, were carrying tusks in a car headed towards Siliguri in June this year.

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Acting on a tip-off, a team of foresters led by Niladri Kishore Roy, a range officer posted under Gorumara wildlife division, intercepted the car near the toll plaza on NH27 at Fatapukur, which is between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri.

As they searched the vehicle, they found four tusks, two long and two short, in a bag.

All five occupants of the car were arrested.

In due course, proceedings started at the chief judicial magistrate (CJM)’s court in Jalpaiguri.

Those arrested, however, filed bail petitions at the Jalpaiguri circuit bench of Calcutta High Court.

The high court, however, rejected the petition and assigned the CJM court to conduct the trial within three months.

“Accordingly, the trial was held. Today (Wednesday), the CJM court sentenced all five of them to three years of rigorous imprisonment. Each
person was also fined Rs 25,000. If they fail to pay this sum, they will have to spend another six months in imprisonment,” said Mrinmoy Banerjee, the assistant public prosecutor.

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