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|Govt orders CBI probe into seizure of tiger parts in Guwahati
New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI)
government has ordered a CBI probe into the seizure of 20 kg of tiger
parts and skeletons worth Rs 5 crore from Guwahati airport, which were
allegedly meant for flourishing traditional medicine market in China
and Far East Asia.
Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh
has directed a CBI investigation while expressing concern that Guwhati
in the Northeast has become a major hub for smugglers to tranship
wildlife products to neighbouring countries, as indicated by frequent
Rajesh Gopal, member secretary of National Tiger
Conservation Authority (NTCA), said "it is a serious issue having
national and international ramifications. CBI has been asked to probe
into backward and forward linkages thread-bare in the case.
the seizure was made the Customs Department, the Centre considered the
case fit for CBI investigation instead of handing it over to Assam
The huge haul of tiger parts recently as well also a
few months ago from the airport has put a question mark on the
country-wide conservation measures being initiated to save the big cat
"Untill the poachers are reined in and demand for
tiger parts is curbed, the big cats in forests would remain vulnerable,
notwithstanding various steps taken for its safety.
"This is perhaps
the biggest seizure of tiger parts in recent times," Gopal added.
Ramesh has written a letter to the Minister of State for Finance
(Revenue) S S Palanimanickam to give all possible help to CBI.While
asking the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) to pool in resources
along with CBI, he also stressed the need for renewing of enforcement
strategies to check wildlife trade.
Given the fact that the
consignment was coming from Dimapur in Nagaland, central wildlife
agencies suspect the tigers may have been poached in Kaziranga and was
on its way to China or South Asian countries to meet the huge demand
Along with tiger parts, the consignment contained 555
kilograms of pangolin scales. Pangolins are protected under Schedule
One of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. Its scales have a huge
demand in China as traditional medicines.