Pangolin Recovered, Four Held in Dudhnoi of Goalpara district
Goalpara: At least foPangolin ur persons were arrested along with a pangolin on Saturday evening by a team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCF) in Dudhnoi of Goalpara district.
The accused persons have been identified as Banikanta Rabha, Najrul Islam, Inamul Hoque and Alad Hussain. The pangolin was allegedly recovered from the possession of Banikanta Rabha. They were arrested from a roadside dhaba near a railway over bridge in Dudhnoi town and handed over to the forest department.
Reportedly, the prime accused in this regard, a hunter called Lengra Garo of Krishnai area who brought the pangolin from Meghalaya to Assam, escaped from the scene.
“I was requested by Lengra Garo to carry the bag in the motorcycle to the dhaba. The pangolin was inside the bag but I did not know about it,” said Banikanta before media persons.
On the other hand, a source said, “It is suspected that the accused were waiting to make a deal with a smuggler who had brought the pangolin to the dhaba and were arrested just after their arrival to the place.”
Meanwhile, commenting upon the operation, Balen Das, ranger of Rongjuli range forest, said, “A team of the WCCF was keeping a hawk’s eye in the Assam-Meghalaya border areas in order to control the trade of wildlife objects. On Saturday, following a specific tip-off, the wildlife team carried out the successful operation. At present they are under our custody.” Das further said that the arrested four will be produced before the district and sessions judge of Goalpara on Monday.
Pangolin is an endangered mammal placed in Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. According to the information, the average price of one kg of pangolin meat in the international black market is about Rs 1 lakh.