Vikash Sharma

The Special Task Force (STF) on Wednesday claimed to have busted a racket involved in illegal wildlife trade by arresting two criminals from Sonepur. Two live Pangolins have also been rescued from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Bedabyasa Dharua (41) and Nabadeep Dharua (29) of Jhankarpali village under Lachhipur police limits.

The Indian pangolin (Maniscrassicaudata), also called thick-tailed pangolin, is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a schedule-I protected animal under Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. Schedule I provides absolute protection - offences under these are prescribed for the highest penalties, STF officials said.

Both Nabadeep and Bedabyasa Dharua were arrested based on a specific intelligence input. During the raid, two live Pangolins weighing 7 kg and 3 kg, respectively along with other incriminating materials were recovered from their possession.

Both the accused have been handed over to Sonepur Forest Officials for necessary legal action at their end. The live Pangolins were handed over to DFO Sonepur for safe custody, the STF officials added.

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