Vikash Sharma

At a time when concerns are being expressed over rampant poaching activities in several parts of Odisha, the forest department on Saturday seized two elephant tusks weighing over 10 kgs from a person.

The accused Bilash Mankadia, who hails from Karanjia sub-division in Mayurbhanj district, was nabbed following a raid at Melana village under Ghatagaon range in Keonjhar district.

A team led by ACF Ghanshyam Mahanta  was tracking the movement of the accused since the past few days. Senior officials of Keonjhar forest division informed that Bilash was arrested after the team got information that the accused was planning to dispose of the tusks. 

Subsequently, a decoy operation was launched and the accused was nabbed.

Sources said that the forest department officials have got some vital clues regarding the involvement of some more persons who are part of the racket. Jharkhand link has also emerged from the interrogation of Bilash, sources said.

(Reported by Pranay Pani)