Rashmi Ranjan

In a major crackdown, the Mayurbhanj police has arrested 21 poachers and seized 165 guns from their possession, informed Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip-off, Mayurbhanj police launched search operations at multiple locations in 14 police jurisdictions and arrested the poachers.

The police also seized 165 country guns, gunpowder, raw materials, pangolin scales and deer antlers from their possession.

Speaking on the crackdown, wildlife expert Biswajit Mohanty said, “Poaching is rampant in Similipal. The action from the police came after two forest officials were gunned down by the poachers. Such raids should be carried out frequently to safeguard the wild animals.”

“The raids should have been carried 10 years ago. If such raids will not continue in regular interval, Similipal will turn into a heaven for the poachers. In the last 30 years, no arrested poacher has been convicted. So strong legal action should be taken against them,” Mohanty added.

In another incident, a man and his daughter have been arrested for poaching in Boudh district.

According to sources, the forest department officials nabbed the duo during a raid near Padmatola beat under Kusanga range in the district.

Two guns, one axe, poisonous balls and pangolin scales were seized from their possession, sources informed.

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