The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Police and forest officials of Betnoti range have arrested two persons from near SCB Junior College at Ragdha under Betnoti Police limits of Mayurbhanj district on charges of poaching, informed the specialised wing on Thursday.
The accused were identified as Prasanta Kumar Mohanty of Kuamara under Khunta Police Station limits and Gora Bindhani under Badasahi Police Station limits of the district.
The STF conducted searches and recovered skin of two leopards and other incriminating articles from their possession.
The STF said that as the duo failed to produce any authority in support of the possession of the leopard skins, they were detained and handed over to Baripada forest officials for further legal action.
The leopard hides will be sent to Wild Life Institute of India, Deharadun for chemical examination. Further investigation in connection with the incident is underway, said a press note released by the STF.
The STF which works to tackle organised crimes further said the special drives against wildlife criminals and poachers have been launched since 2020. Under the drive, as many as 24 leopard skins, 12 elephant tusks, seven deer skins, nine live pangolins and 15 kg pangolin scales have been recovered so far while a total of 54 wildlife criminals have been arrested.