5 held while smuggling tiger skin
19 Dec 2007, 0345 hrs IST,TNN
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CHANDRAPUR: Cops from the local crime branch here seized a tiger skin worth Rs 10 lakh on Saturday while it was being smuggled to Chandrapur from Chamorshi in Gachiroli district. Five persons, including a forest department employee, were carrying the skin, were arrested.
Police sources said on Tuesday that the team, led by inspector P T Sapkale, conducted the operation after acting on a tip off from an informer, that five persons will be carrying the skin to Chandrapur from Chamorshi.
"Accordingly, the team laid a trap near Haranghat village under Mul police station and kept a close vigil on the area. As soon as the smugglers reached the spot in a Tata Sumo, the officials attacked them. Though they managed to flee the spot, they threw the bag carrying the skin near the check post at Mul-Nagpur Road," police sources said.
Police after confiscating the 8.8-feet-long skin, went on chasing the Tata Sumo and finally got hold of them at Kolsa village under Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). They were later identified as Puroshottam Ramaji Devikar (48), a forest department employee and a resident of Mahakali ward, Sayyed Suleman Yusuf Ali (31), from Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh, Maroti Binfikar Katkar (25) from Indiranagar, Thakur Deenanath Rabtan (41) and Sadhan Kalipad Sarkar (38), both residents of Chitranjanpur camp area in Gadchiroli.
The accused have been booked under relevant sections of Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and further investigations are on.
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