Foresters arrest two Alipurduar residents with elephant tusks
Foresters of Baikunthapur forest division on Wednesday seized two pieces of elephant tusk and arrested two Alipurduar residents have been arrested in this connection from Jalpaiguri district.
The duo had plans to smuggle the tusks, which is 80cm-long and weighs 12kg, to Kakarvitta in Jhapa district of Nepal through the Siliguri corridor, the foresters said. “They are associated with a racket involved in poaching and trafficking of wild animal parts in Assam and had apparently made a deal to sell the tusks for Rs 60 lakhs with some buyers in the neighbouring country,” said a forest officer.
Sources said a team led by Sanjay Dutta, a range officer, reached near the Washabarie tea estate, located around in Jalpaiguri district, late yesterday evening.
“Later, they intercepted two persons on a motorcycle. The team frisked a plastic bag that they were carrying and found two pieces of elephant tusk. The duo could not produce documents to prove that they were legally carrying the tusks. They have been arrested,” said a police officer.
The arrested duo have been identified as Govind Pradhan, a resident of Khoklabusty in Jaigaon, and Bikash Lama of Madarihat, both located in Alipurduar district.
“During preliminary probe, it has been found that an elephant was poached at some reserve forest in Assam and then the tusks were extracted,” said an officer.
“They have been booked under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,” said a forester.