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Ramakanta Biswas

A local court in Odisha has sentenced two persons to rigorous imprisonment for six months after convicting them for smuggling leopard skin. 

This is said to be the first ever conviction of wildlife smugglers in the State secured by the Special Task Force (STF), a specialised wing of Odisha Police set up to curb the organised crime.     

On Tuesday, the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM), Khordha found Sudhira Behera and Subash Chandra Behera, both from Nayagarh, guilty under Sections 379/411/120 (B) of IPC r/w Section 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972 in STF PS Case No. 11/2021. The court sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months. The court also imposed fine on the both the accused. 

On the intervening night of February 1 and 2, 2021 the STF, Bhubaneswar had apprehended the two accused at Bolagarh under Khordha district and recovered one leopard skin from their possession while they were travelling on a motorcycle for a deal. 

During investigation, the seized leopard skin was also sent to Wild Life Institute of India, Dehradun for biological chemical examination and opinion was received affirmatively. After successful investigation, charge sheet was submitted against both the accused persons in the court.

“Wildlife crimes remain one of the focus areas of STF and STF will continue its drive against the wildlife crimes and criminals,” the special wing said in a statement.

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