Suryakant Jena

The Special Task Force of Odisha Crime Branch on Thursday arrested as many as 3 people while cracking a deal to sell a live pangolin in Bhubaneswar.

On the basis of reliable information, the STF team conducted raid near Kalinga Studio Chhak, Bhubaneswar about a deal of sale of live pangolin by wildlife criminals.

The team apprehended three people namely Chitrasen Sahoo of Badamba in Cuttack, Khageswar Sahoo of Patrapda in Bhubaneswar and Bhagirathi Behera of Ganjam and during search, one live pangolin and other incriminating materials were seized from their possession.

As the accused persons could not produce any valid authority in support of the possession of live scaly-skinned mammal, they were arrested.

A police case under Sections of 379/411/413/120(B) IPC & Sec 51 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1973 has been registered against the accused. The live pangolin will be handed over to DFO, Chandaka Wild Life Warden for safe custody, the Crime Branch STF has informed in a press statement.

The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), also called thick-tailed pangolin, scaly anteater and bajrakapta in Odia is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a schedule I protected animal under Wild Life Protection act, 1972 which makes provision for absolute protection of the animal and offences against it under this act are prescribed for the highest penalties

In the last one year, STF, the specialized wing of Odisha Police set up to curb the organized crime in the State, has launched drives against the wildlife crimes and arrested 32 wildlife criminals while seizing as many as 15 Leopard hides, 9 Elephant Tusks, 2 deer skins, 4 live pangolins, and 13 kg pangolin scales.