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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Nayagarh: The Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch on Tuesday seized a leopard skin and held two persons in this connection following a raid in Nayagarh area on Friday.

Acting on a tip-off, the STF conducted the raid and arrested the accused along with his associate while they were allegedly making a deal to sale the skin in the market.

According to sources, the poacher himself and his associate were making a deal of Rs 4 lakh to sale the wildlife product in the market. The STF personnel under the guise of agents took part in the deal and arrested the accused.

Further investigation in this connection is underway.

"We are questioning the poacher and his associate in this connection. Hopefully, the root of the wildlife smuggling could be traced," said an official.

The poaching of leopards have become rampant in Odisha as earlier in November 17, the Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch had seized a leopard skin and held one person in this connection following a raid in Baramunda area of Bhubaneswar.

In another similar incident on October 20, officials from the forest department had seized a leopard skin and detained five persons in connection with the seizure in Mayurbhanj district.

All the five accused were picked by the forest department officials close to Katas village near the NH-49, which falls under the Bisoyi range.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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