A man was nabbed with elephant tusks weighing 4.5 kg in the Kaladhungi area of Nainital district on Thursday. This is the second instance in less than a month after three persons were nabbed with a tiger skin in December 15 last year that suspected poachers have been arrested in Nainital district.
The arrests have raised questions over the way the forest department is managing the vigilance and anti-poaching activities of the forest department in the area simultaneously exposing the network.
Kavi Dayal, divisional forest officer, Ramnagar division, said, “Our patrolling team spotted two suspicious men on a motor bike. They tried to flee after they were instructed to stop and were apprehended. The seized tusks are worth lakhs of rupees in the international market.” One of the miscreants (identified as Charan Singh) was held. “A case has been registered t them under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and various other laws.” The duo was carrying the tusks in a sack, he added.
The interrogation is on to find out if the tusker was killed by these men or they are mere couriers.
Incidents of poaching and smuggling of various wildlife parts have been on the rise in Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts. Five poachers, including members of an organized poaching gang specializing in killing Asian big cats, were arrested with leg-hold steel traps at Terai East forest division of Uttarakhand on April 14, 2015. In another incident, the police recovered a leopard’s skin, skull and bones worth Rs 6.5 lakh in the international market with the arrest of three persons at Hindolakhal area of Tehri district in the state in February 2015.
Four poachers have been booked in Uttarakhand for killing 31 migratory birds by feeding them worms laced with poison on November 27, 2015.