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Leopard’s skull, bones recovered in HP

 

Tushar Rattan | TNN
Times of India, Jaipur, 13-09-2010

Bilaspur: In a joint operation involving officials of the Himachal Pradesh forest department and a prominent NGO, a wildlife smuggler was arrested on Sunday with 3.5 kg of leopard bones and a skull. Body parts of an unidentified animal have also been found from the accused.
The recovery has confirmed apprehensions of widespread poaching of leopards in the state, sources said.

The smuggler, Melu Ram (45), was arrested on Sunday from his native village Baragraon in Bilaspur district. His accomplice, Balam Ram, managed to escape. Bilaspur District Forest Officer, Kamaljeet Singh Chandel, who headed the search team, said efforts were on to arrest the other accused. Tito Joseph from Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) said the joint operation was first of its kind in the state and that more such raids would continue.

 The accused is in the forest department’s custody and will be produced in the court of the district and sessions judge on Monday. Leopard is an endangered species under schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 under which trading in animal’s parts is a non-bailable offence.

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