Four Arunachal men arrested by Assam Forest officials

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, May 17: The Forest officials of Assam, along with the Assam Police have arrested four men from Arunachal Pradesh at Dafalagarh Tea Estate in Biswanath district of Assam on Tuesday evening for allegedly trying to sell leopard skin and bones.
The arrested have been identified as Techi Atung (35), Tana Butra (24), Teli Neeku (32) and Techi Papu (26) by the Assam Forest officials. One of the arrested is claimed to be an employee in the Health Department.
Speaking to this daily, Range Officer Pranjal Baruah informed that the four were coming from Balijan to Gahigaon in two motorbikes. While one motorbike was driving ahead to check for police and forest officials, the other motorbike carrying the carcass of the animal followed close behind, but were soon apprehended at the Dafalagarh Tea Estate.
“The skin and bones look like they have come from one animal which was probably killed only a few days earlier, but reports are still awaited”, he said.
The leopard was reportedly killed somewhere between the Arunachal and Assam border, but the arrested have not provided the exact location. The arrested have reportedly said that they bought the animal carcass from someone else and did not kill it themselves.
Reportedly, the middleman who would connect the sellers and buyers is a fisherman, but the alleged accused persons claimed that they do not know his (fisherman) name.
The four have been currently kept in remand at the Biswanath Chariali Range Office for interrogation and further investigations, which will be conducted by the Investigating Officer.
RO Baruah also informed that they have sent a WT message to the Balijan Police Station and a message has also been sent to the Chief Wildlife Warden of the area.
Meanwhile, the Wildlife officials in Itanagar said that they have not received any report regarding the matter.

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