Chhattisgarh: A man held while trying to smuggle leopard skin

Raipur: A 55 year old man while trying to smuggle the skin of leopard in in Chhattisgarh’s Gariyaband district on Wednesday evening, officials said on Thursday.

The arrested men have been identified as Ramnath Netam (55), who hailed from Gariyaband district.

Police said that the accused were nabbed from Barula village following a tip-off of searching for customers to sell the leopard skin.

“One of the police constables, posed as a customer and struck a deal with the accused for Rs one lakh. After this, the accused returned to bring  the leopard skin. About an hour, he returned empty handed. And the joint team in civil clothes for recce,  arrested the accused when he demanded Rs 50,000 as an advance amount for the deal”. said the officials.

As per the police and forest officials, the exact value of the seized skin was yet to be ascertained, though it may be in the range of Rs 10 lakh in the international market. The length of the skin, excluding the tail, is 46 inch and the width is 13 inches.

Police arrested the accused under sections 2 (16), 9, 39 (3), 49 (B) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and from where he was sent to jail on judicial remand.

The spotted big cats are under threat with increasing numbers of leopards being poached for their body parts, including bones, claws and skin, and villagers killing them for straying into human settlements. 

—– Vijay Singh Thakur

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