Government Railway Police seizes 256 parakeets from Calcutta-bound train in Malda
The Government Railway Police (GRP) seized 256 parakeets from a Calcutta-bound train at Malda town station on Thursday night.
“We recovered the birds from near the lavatory of a sleeper coach of Jogbani Express. The parakeets were kept in three cages and covered with clothes. No one has been arrested,” said Bhaskar Pradhan, the inspector-in-charge of Malda GRP.
“We suspect an organised racket is smuggling these birds through this route. Our men and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) are probing the case,” Pradhan added.
Later, the birds were handed over to the forest department.
In the past one month, this is the third such incident when hundreds of parakeets have been recovered from Jogbani Express. On July 27, the RPF had seized 510 parakeets and a hill mynah from Jogbani Express and arrested a person. On August 3, the RPF and the state forest department had recovered 124 parakeets again from the same train.
“We suspect the birds are being brought from Nepal or Bihar and are smuggled to south Bengal,” said a source in the RPF.
“We are also on alert as it seems to be an attempt to sell the birds in clandestine markets. It is completely illegal. In due course, the birds would be released in the wild,” said Sujit Kumar Chatterjee, a forest officer posted in Malda.